The Send-Off

Wilfred Owen
Language: English

Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way
To the siding-shed,‎
And lined the train with faces grimly gay.‎
Their breasts were stuck all white with wreath and spray
As men's are, dead.‎

Dull porters watched them, and a casual tramp
Stood staring hard,‎
Sorry to miss them from the upland camp.‎
Then, unmoved, signals nodded, and a lamp
Winked to the guard.‎

So secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went.‎
They were not ours:‎
We never heard to which front these were sent.‎
Nor there if they yet mock what women meant
Who gave them flowers.‎

Shall we return to beatings of great bells
In wild train-loads?‎
A few, a few, too few for drums and yells,‎
May creep back, silent, to village wells
Up half-known roads.‎

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