Attack

Original Text: 
The War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon (London: William Heinemann, 1919): 40. Internet Archive
1At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun
2In the wild purple of the glowering sun
3Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud
4The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one,
5Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire.
6The barrage roars and lifts. Then, clumsily bowed
7With bombs and guns and shovels and battle-gear,
8Men jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire.
9Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear,
10They leave their trenches, going over the top,
11While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists,
12And hope, with furtive eyes and grappling fists,
13Flounders in mud. O Jesu, make it stop!
Publication Start Year: 
1918
Publication Notes: 
Counter-attack
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
Rhyme: 
Form: 
Special Copyright: 

Out of copyright in the United States only.