Hospital Barge

Wilfred Owen 1893 (Oswestry) – 1918 (Sambre–Oise Canal)

Budging the sluggard ripples of the Somme,
A barge round old Cérisy slowly slewed.
Softly her engines down the current screwed,
And chuckled softly with contented hum,
Till fairy tinklings struck their croonings dumb.
The waters rumpling at the stern subdued;
The lock-gate took her bulging amplitude;
Gently from out the gurgling lock she swum.

One reading by that calm bank shaded eyes
To watch her lessening westward quietly.
Then, as she neared the bend, her funnel screamed.
And that long lamentation made him wise
How unto Avalon, in agony,
Kings passed in the dark barge, which Merlin dreamed.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC was an English poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War. more…

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