Thursday, December 02, 2004

The faces never change


This is my great-grandfather. He died in the trenches of World War I, while my great-grandmother was pregnant with my grandmother. My grandmother, of course, never met her father. World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars.

The Parable of The Old Man and The Young
Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife. 
And as they sojourned, both of them together, 
Isaac the first-born spake, and said, My Father, 
Behold the preparations, fire and iron, 
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering? 
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps, 
And builded parapets the trenches there, 
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son. 
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven, 
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, 
Neither do anything to him. Behold, 
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns; 
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him. 

But the old man would not so, but slew his son, 
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.


jo said...

I always liked that poem.

Have you ever read Alan Clark's The Donkeys?

J.R. Boyd said...

Thank you, Lorraine.