Glory of Women (Siegfried Sassoon)

Glory of Women, written by British soldier and war poet Siegfried Sassoon in 1918:

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.