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Utter Madness

Wilfred Owen – killed just one week before the armistice, in November 1918, that ended the first official round of the gruesome world war of the first half of the 20th century – is likely and justly most famous for the moving poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est.”  But this other anti-war poem of his – “The Parable of the Old Man and the Young” – is also excellent.  (HT Tom Palmer):

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. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

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