World War One Main Page

The Nations Involved in WWI

Between the Wars

Bismarck

Declaration of War (American)

Flanders Field

Gavrilo Princip

Kaiser Wilhelm II

Marne

Otto Dix

Passchendaele

Pershing

Sasson

Schlieffen Plan

Somme

Submarine

Verdun

Wilfred Owen, "Gas"

Woodrow Wilson

World War One Battles

Letters from the Front

Edward Luckart

Albert Smith

A Special Christmas Story

Christmas 1914

Music from World War One

Over There

Long Way To Tipperary

Pack Up Your Troubles

 

World War One, Siegfried Sassoon, 1886-1967
 
 
Does it Matter
 
DOES it matter?--losing your legs?...
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When the others come in after hunting
To gobble their muffins and eggs.
 
Does it matter?--losing your sight?...
There's such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.

 

Do they matter?--those dreams from the pit?...
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won't say that you're mad;
For they'll know you've fought for your country
And no one will worry a bit.

 

 
       Battalion-Relief
 
 
'FALL in! Now get a move on.' (Curse the rain.)
We splash away along the straggling village,
Out to the flat rich country, green with June...
And sunset flares across wet crops and tillage,
Blazing with splendour-patches. (Harvest soon,
Up in the Line.) 'Perhaps the War'll be done
'By Christmas-Day. Keep smiling then, old son.'

 

Here's the Canal: it's dusk; we cross the bridge.
'Lead on there, by platoons.' (The Line's a-glare
With shell-fire through the poplars; distant rattle
Of rifles and machine-guns.) 'Fritz is there!
'Christ, ain't it lively, Sergeant? Is't a battle?'
More rain: the lightning blinks, and thunder rumbles.
'There's over-head artillery!' some chap grumbles.

 

What's all this mob at the cross-roads? Where are the guides?...
'Lead on with number One.' And off they go.
'Three minute intervals.' (Poor blundering files,
Sweating and blindly burdened; who's to know
If death will catch them in those two dark miles?)
More rain. 'Lead on, Head-quarters.' (That's the lot.)
'Who's that?... Oh, Sergeant-Major, don't get shot!
'And tell me, have we won this war or not?'

World History Project