Siegfried Sassoon (18861967).

17. Suicide in the Trenches

I KNEW a simple soldier boy


Who grinned at life in empty joy,


Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,


And whistled early with the lark.



In winter trenches, cowed and glum,


With crumps and lice and lack of rum,


He put a bullet through his brain.


No one spoke of him again.

    .    .    .    .


You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye


Who cheer when soldier lads march by,


Sneak home and pray youll never know


The hell where youth and laughter go.