Who knows? Who hopes? Who troubles? Let it pass! He sleeps. He sleeps less tremulous, less cold Than we who must awake, and waking, say Alas!

Asleep

 

Under his helmet, up against his pack,

After the many days of work and waking,

Sleep took him by the brow and laid him back.

And in the happy no-time of his sleeping,

Death took him by the heart. There was a quaking

Of the aborted life within him leaping …

Then chest and sleepy arms once more fell slack.

And soon the slow, stray blood came creeping

From the intrusive lead, like ants on track.

 

*           *           *

 

Whether his deeper sleep lie shaded by the shaking

Of great wings, and the thoughts that hung the stars,

High pillowed on calm pillows of God’s making

Above these clouds, these rains, these sleets of lead,

And these winds’ scimitars;

—Or whether yet his thin and sodden head

Confuses more and more with the low mould,

His hair being one with the grey grass

And finished fields of autumns that are old …

Who knows? Who hopes? Who troubles? Let it pass!

He sleeps. He sleeps less tremulous, less cold

Than we who must awake, and waking, say Alas!

 

Wilfred Owen

One thought on “Who knows? Who hopes? Who troubles? Let it pass! He sleeps. He sleeps less tremulous, less cold Than we who must awake, and waking, say Alas!”

  1. As Jackson Brown put it

    There’s a shadow on the faces
    Of the men who fan the flames
    Of the wars that are fought in places
    We can’t even say the names

    They sell us the president the same way
    They sell us our clothes and our cars
    They sell us everything from youth to religion
    The same they sell us our wars

    Like

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