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Two Poems by Siegfried Sassoon

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On Reading My Diary

This was the truth, as near as I could get it,
Although that truth is truth to me no longer.
But dead misapprehensions make me stronger

Who am infallible now and no more blind!
These mummied thoughts seem vivid and exciting:
For (like a vast percentage of mankind)
Myself's myself's main interest: so I find
Not one dull page in all these reams of writing. 

"An egotist!" you say . . . Is that unusual?. . .
Show me the man, (provided he's a sound one,)
Who's totally assured that he's a dunce!

Such men are rare indeed: I've never found one;
But when I do I'll actuate him at once
Toward wholesome introspection. I'll advise him,
"Take samples of your grandiose delusion,

"And trace each complex down to its conclusion;
"Watch your reactions!" And within a week
He'll satisfy himself that he's unique.

Originally published in the New Republic on February 23, 1921

Scientific Rapture 

Time flows not as those hearts that knock
Together with bewildered haste,
Each in its paradise embraced.

His chimes from gloom-built minsters mock
Love's parleying plight, when he foretells
Silence with tongues of shuddering bells.

But I'll be daunted by no clock,
For in your mortal charm I see
Not Time but Relativity.

Originally published in the New Republic on April 6, 1921