Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Parable of the Old Men and the Young (Wilfred Owen)

The Parable of the Old Men and the Young

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretchèd forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an Angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him, thy son.
Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

- Wilfred Owen


At 1:27 PM, Blogger LutheranChik said...

My maternal grandfather was a medic in France during World War I...he came back "shell shocked," a changed man. Your post reminded me of him.

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Theresa Coleman said...

Wow. this is powerful.

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Anna said...

World War I seems nearly forgotten in our Veterans Day celebrations these days. People like your grandfather and what the war did to them shouldn't be forgotten, lutheranchik.

This is one of my favorite Owen poems. Some of his work is too intense and dramatic for me, but this poem's measured pace and devastating final lines are perfectly done.


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