Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Greater Love

by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

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.