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At The Cenotaph
(1886 - 1967 / Kent / England)

At The Cenotaph

Poem By Siegfried Sassoon

I saw the Prince of Darkness, with his Staff,
Standing bare-headed by the Cenotaph:
Unostentatious and respectful, there
He stood, and offered up the following prayer.
'Make them forget, O Lord, what this Memorial
Means; their discredited ideas revive;
Breed new belief that War is purgatorial
Proof of the pride and power of being alive;
Men's biologic urge to readjust
The Map of Europe, Lord of Hosts, increase;
Lift up their hearts in large destructive lust;
And crown their heads with blind vindictive Peace.'
The Prince of Darkness to the Cenotaph
Bowed. As he walked away I heard him laugh.

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Comments (1)

I studied this poem for my A Level English exam when I was just 17. The imagery is so strong...60 now and it still sticks in my mind! Talk about 'hitting the nail on the head'!


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