How to Die

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How to Die
by Siegfried Sassoon
How to Die is a 1918 poem by the English soldier and poet Siegfried Sassoon published in Counter-Attack and Other Poems.

Dark clouds are smouldering into red
   While down the craters morning burns.
The dying soldier shifts his head
   To watch the glory that returns;
He lifts his fingers toward the skies
   Where holy brightness breaks in flame;
Radiance reflected in his eyes,
      And on his lips a whispered name.

You'd think, to hear some people talk,
   That lads go West with sobs and curses,
And sullen faces white as chalk,
   Hankering for wreaths and tombs and hearses.
But they've been taught the way to do it
   Like Christian soldiers; not with haste
And shuddering groans; but passing through it
   With due regard for decent taste.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).