Anthem for Doomed Youth
passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
the monstrous anger of the guns.
the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
patter out their hasty orisons.
mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
bugles calling for them from sad shires.
candles may be held to speed them all?
in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.