The Tombstone-Maker

A poem by Siegfried Sassoon

He primmed his loose red mouth, and leaned his head
Against a sorrowing angel's breast, and said:
"You'd think so much bereavement would have made
Unusual big demands upon my trade.
The War comes cruel hard on some poor folk -
Unless the fighting stops I'll soon be broke."

He eyed the Cemetery across the road -
"There's scores of bodies out abroad, this while,
That should be here by rights; they little know'd
How they'd get buried in such wretched style."

I told him, with a sympathetic grin,
That Germans boil dead soldiers down for fat;
And he was horrified. "What shameful sin!
O sir, that Christian men should come to that!"

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