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Have you forgotten yet?

Language: English

Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked awhile at the crossing of city ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heavens of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same -- and War's a bloody game....
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.
Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz, --
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench -- 
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, "Is it all going to happen again?"
Do you remember that hour of din before the attack -- 
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads, those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the Spring that you'll never forget.

Translation(s): FRE

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About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Siegfried Sassoon, PICTURE-SHOW and other poems, E.P. Dutton and company, 1920, page 47.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] and Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Suites", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2008-10-19.
Last modified: 2016-12-18 20:04:43
Line count: 23
Word count: 237

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Language: French (Français) after the English

As-tu déjà oublié…
Car les événements du monde n'ont pas cessé depuis ces jours censurés,
Pareils au trafic s'arrêtant un instant au croisement d'une ville :
Et dans ta tête cet intervalle obsédant s'est empli de pensées affluant
Comme des nuages dans le lumineux paradis de la vie ; et tu es un homme en sursis,
Prenant ta paisible part de Temps, avec la joie de l'épargner.
Mais le passé est toujours le même – et la Guerre est un jeu sanglant…
As-tu déjà oublié ? …
Regarde en arrière, et jure sur la tuerie de la Guerre que tu n'oublieras jamais.

Te rappelles-tu les jours sombres où tu tenais le secteur de Mametz, –
Les nuits où tu montais la garde, posais des barbelés, creusais et empilais des sacs de sable sur les parapets ?
Te rappelles-tu les rats et la puanteur
Des corps pourrissant devant la tranchée de première ligne –
Et le crépuscule du matin, blanc sale, et froid avec sa pluie sans espoir ?
T'arrive-t-il de t'arrêter et de te demander : « Tout va-t-il recommencer ? »

Te rappelles-tu cette heure de tumulte avant l'attaque –
Et la colère, la compassion aveugle qui te saisissait et t'agitait
Quand tu scrutais les faces désespérées et hagardes de tes hommes ?
Te rappelles-tu ceux des civières ramenées en titubant,
Leurs yeux mourants et leur tête pendante, le gris de cendre
Du masque de ces gars qui furent un jour vifs, bons et gais ?

As-tu déjà oublié…
Regarde en avant, et jure sur le vert du printemps que tu n'oublieras jamais.

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  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2016 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Text added to the website: 2016-12-15.
Last modified: 2017-02-16 14:11:55
Line count: 23
Word count: 264