by Siegfried Lorraine Sassoon (1886 - 1967)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

The Dug‑Out
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
Why do you lie with your legs ungainly huddled,
And one arm bent across your sullen, cold,
Exhausted face? It hurts my heart to watch you,
Deep-shadow'd from the candle's guttering gold;
And you wonder why I shake you by the shoulder;
Drowsy, you mumble and sigh and turn your head...
You are too young to fall asleep for ever;
And when you sleep you remind me of the dead.

Confirmed with Siegfried Sassoon, PICTURE-SHOW and other poems, E.P. Dutton and company, New York, 1920, page 7

First published in Nation, August 1918


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) , "L'abri de tranchées", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Pierre Mathé [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2008-10-19
Line count: 8
Word count: 70

L'abri de tranchées
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
Pourquoi es-tu couché, les jambes maladroitement recroquevillées,
Et un bras plié sur ta figure maussade, froide,
Épuisée ? Cela me blesse le cœur de t'observer
À l'ombre profonde de l'or vacillant de la bougie ;
Et tu te demandes pourquoi je te secoue par l'épaule.
Somnolent, tu grommelles, soupires et tournes la tête …
Tu es trop jeune pour t'endormir à jamais ;
Et lorsque tu dors, tu me rappelles les morts.


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2017 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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2017-01-04
Line count: 8
Word count: 72