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Study Guide : A Rose for the ANZAC Boys: POEM : Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

A guide to help in the study of the novel A Rose for the ANZAC boys by Jackie French

Dulce et Decorum Est - (Footage from the Battle of the Somme)

TITLE:  Dulce et Decorum Est, (Translation: Latin to English) - a poem by Wilfred Owen



"It is sweet and honourable to die for one's country." 

final sentence

Pro patria mori.

"The old lie:"

Translation sourced from

Poem : Dulce et Decorum Est

Dulce et Decorum Est    Wilfred Owen - 1893-1918

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags,we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs 

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots

But limped on, blood-shod. All went home lame; all blind;

Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori


This poem is in the public domain.

source :

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