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Arms and the Boy

Wilfred Owen 1893 (Oswestry) – 1918 (Sambre–Oise Canal)



1 Let the boy try along this bayonet-blade
2 How cold steel is, and keen with hunger of blood;
3 Blue with all malice, like a madman's flash;
4 And thinly drawn with famishing for flesh.

5 Lend him to stroke these blind, blunt bullet-heads
6 Which long to muzzle in the hearts of lads.
7 Or give him cartridges of fine zinc teeth,
8 Sharp with the sharpness of grief and death.

9 For his teeth seem for laughing round an apple.
10 There lurk no claws behind his fingers supple;
11 And God will grow no talons at his heels,
12 Nor antlers through the thickness of his curls.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC was an English poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War. more…

All Wilfred Owen poems | Wilfred Owen Books

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