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Veterans

Glory of Women, by Siegfried Sassoon

You love us when we’re heroes, home on leave,
Or wounded in a mentionable place.
You worship decorations; you believe
That chivalry redeems the war’s disgrace.
You make us shells. You listen with delight,
By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.
You crown our distant ardours while we fight,
And mourn our laurelled memories when we’re killed.
You can’t believe that British troops ‘retire’
When hell’s last horror breaks them, and they run,
Trampling the terrible corpses—blind with blood.
     O German mother dreaming by the fire,
     While you are knitting socks to send your son
     His face is trodden deeper in the mud.

from Counter-Attack and Other Poems

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.