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90107: 'Sweet is your antique body . . .'

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posted on 2024-04-23, 10:08 authored by First World War Poetry Digital Archive Project Team

Sweet is your antique body, not yet young.
Beauty withheld from youth that looks for youth.
Fair only for your father. Dear among
Masters in art. To all men else uncouth
Save me; who know your smile comes very old,
Learnt of the happy dead that laughed with gods;
For earlier suns than ours have lent you gold,
Sly fauns and trees have given you jigs and nods.
But soon your heart, hot-beating like a bird's,
Shall slow down. Youth shall lop your hair,
And you must learn wry meanings in our words.
Your smile shall dull, because too keen aware;
And when for hopes your hand shall be uncurled,
Your eyes shall close, being opened to the world.

Written at Craiglockhard, probably in December 1917

History

Creator

Owen, Wilfred (1893-1918)

Date

1917-12

Source

The Estate of Wilfred Owen The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen, edited by Jon Stallworthy, first published by Chatto & Windus, 1983, (#13, CPF vol. 1, p. 129). Preliminaries, introductory, editorial matter, manuscripts and fragments omitted.

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    The Wilfred Owen Collection

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