Greater Love

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



Red lips are not so red
As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.
Kindness of wooed and wooer
Seems shame to their love pure.
O Love, your eyes lose lure
When I behold eyes blinded in my stead!

Your slender attitude
Trembles not exquisite like limbs knife-skewed,
Rolling and rolling there
Where God seems not to care;
Till the fierce love they bear
Cramps them in death's extreme decrepitude.

Your voice sings not so soft,-
Though even as wind murmuring through raftered loft,-
Your dear voice is not dear,
Gentle, and evening clear,
As theirs whom none now hear,
Now earth has stopped their piteous mouths that coughed.

Heart, you were never hot
Nor large, nor full like hearts made great with shot;
And though your hand be pale,
Paler are all which trail
Your cross through flame and hail:
Weep, you may weep, for you may touch them not.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 22, 2023

47 sec read
229

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABBBA CCBBBA XDBBBD EEFFFE
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 856
Words 156
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6

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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