The Last Laugh By Wilfred Owen

‘O Jesus Christ! I’m hit,’ he said; and died.

Whether he vainly cursed, or prayed indeed,
The Bullets chirped—In vain! vain! vain!

Machine-guns chuckled,—Tut-tut! Tut-tut!

And the Big Gun guffawed.

Another sighed,—‘O Mother, mother! Dad!’
Then smiled, at nothing, childlike, being dead.

          And the lofty Shrapnel-cloud

          Leisurely gestured,—Fool!
          And the falling splinters tittered.

‘My Love!’ one moaned. Love-languid seemed his mood,

Till, slowly lowered, his whole face kissed the mud.

          And the Bayonets’ long teeth grinned;
          Rabbles of Shells hooted and groaned;
          And the Gas hissed.

Source: The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1965)

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