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The Unconquered Dead Analysis

Author: Poetry of John McCrae Type: Poetry Views: 186

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". . . defeated, with great loss."

Not we the conquered!Not to us the blame

Of them that flee, of them that basely yield;

Nor ours the shout of victory, the fame

Of them that vanquish in a stricken field.

That day of battle in the dusty heat

We lay and heard the bullets swish and sing

Like scythes amid the over-ripened wheat,

And we the harvest of their garnering.

Some yielded, No, not we!Not we, we swear

By these our wounds; this trench upon the hill

Where all the shell-strewn earth is seamed and bare,

Was ours to keep; and lo! we have it still.

We might have yielded, even we, but death

Came for our helper; like a sudden flood

The crashing darkness fell; our painful breath

We drew with gasps amid the choking blood.

The roar fell faint and farther off, and soon

Sank to a foolish humming in our ears,

Like crickets in the long, hot afternoon

Among the wheat fields of the olden years.

Before our eyes a boundless wall of red

Shot through by sudden streaks of jagged pain!

Then a slow-gathering darkness overhead

And rest came on us like a quiet rain.

Not we the conquered!Not to us the shame,

Who hold our earthen ramparts, nor shall cease

To hold them ever; victors we, who came

In that fierce moment to our honoured peace.


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