Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Quote of the day: A soldier’s deepest wish

From Six Weeks, the book about British junior officers in World War I that I’ve mentioned before, here is a stanza from a poem by Sub-Lt. A.P. Herbert, who fought at Gallipoli, and later saw his battalion destroyed at the Somme: We only want to take our wounds away To some shy village where the ...

Wikimedia
Wikimedia
Wikimedia

From Six Weeks, the book about British junior officers in World War I that I've mentioned before, here is a stanza from a poem by Sub-Lt. A.P. Herbert, who fought at Gallipoli, and later saw his battalion destroyed at the Somme:

We only want to take our wounds away

To some shy village where the tumult ends,

From Six Weeks, the book about British junior officers in World War I that I’ve mentioned before, here is a stanza from a poem by Sub-Lt. A.P. Herbert, who fought at Gallipoli, and later saw his battalion destroyed at the Somme:

We only want to take our wounds away

To some shy village where the tumult ends,

And drowsing in the sunshine many a day,

Forget our aches, forget that we had friends.

I really like those lines. The emotion they convey is more complex than it may first appear, especially the last five words.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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