The Investiture


Siegfried Sassoon

God with a Roll of Honour in His hand

Sits welcoming the heroes who have died,

While sorrowless angels ranked on either side

Stand easy in Elysium’s meadow-land.

Then you come shyly through the garden gate,

Wearing a blood-soaked bandage on your head;

And God says something kind because you’re dead,

And homesick, discontented with your fate.

If I were there we’d snowball Death with skulls;

Or ride away to hunt in Devil’s Wood

With ghosts of puppies that we walked of old.

But you’re alone; and solitude annuls

Our earthly jokes; and strangely wise and good

You roam forlorn along the streets of gold.

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