When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead

Original Text: 
Charles Hamilton Sorley. Marlborough and other Poems. 4th edition. Cambridge: University Press, 1919: 78 (no. XXXIV). PR 6037 O7M3 1919 Robarts Library
2Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
3Say not soft things as other men have said,
4That you'll remember. For you need not so.
5Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
6It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
7Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
8Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
9Say only this, "They are dead." Then add thereto,
10"Yet many a better one has died before."
11Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you
12Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
13It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
14Great death has made all his for evermore.


1] "This sonnet was found in the author's kit sent home from France after his death." (Note by W. R. S., p. 131.) Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.