Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - Absolution

"Absolution" by Siegfried Sassoon First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:

"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".

Below is one of eight poems featured within the Before Action section of the collection.  You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.

by Siegfried Sassoon

The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
Till beauty shines in all that we can see.
War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,
And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.

Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,
And loss of things desired; all those things must pass.
We are the happy legion, for we know
Time's but a golden wind that shakes the grass.

There was an hour when we were loath to part
From life we longed to share no less than others.
Now, having claimed his heritage of heart,
What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?

French tanks were used for the first time in battle on 17 April 1917, when the 'Char Schneider' (as they were known) was used during the Second Battle of the Aisne.

- Did you know?

Muse in Arms

Before Action