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Greater Love

 

Red lips are not so red

As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.

Kindness of wooed and wooer

Seems shame to their love pure.

O Love, your eyes lose lure

When I behold eyes blinded in my stead!

 

Your slender attitude

Trembles not exquisite like limbs knife-skewed,

Rolling and rolling there

Where God seems not to care:

Till the fierce love they bear

Cramps them in death’s extreme decrepitude.

 

Your voice sings not so soft,—

Though even as wind murmuring through raftered loft,—

Your dear voice is not dear,

Gentle, and evening clear,

As theirs whom none now hear,

Now earth has stopped their piteous mouths that coughed.

 

Heart, you were never hot

Nor large, nor full like hearts made great with shot;

And though your hand be pale,

Paler are all which trail

Your cross through flame and hail:

Weep, you may weep, for you may touch them not.

 

Wilfred Owen


[artist]


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