A War Poet

Love’s Day-Break by Siegfried Sassoon

Love wakes me with his word…

And out of gloom I’ll bring you

The first brave twilight bird

My day-break thoughts to sing you:

And clouds, likes roses flowering in the skies,

Shall be your garland plucked from Paradise.

I will follow you into the sun,

And glory shall not blind me:

With every wind I’ll run:

In trees and stars you’ll find me.

O living joy! Radiance from death returning!

Like these my love shall pass, in beauty burning.


Everyone suddenly burst out singing,

And I was filled with such delight

As prisoned birds must find in freedom,

Winging wildly across the white

Orchards and dark-green field, on,

on, and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;

And beauty came like the setting sun:

My heart was shaken with tears; and horror

Drifted way… O, but everyone

Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, CBE, MC (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967)

That Sassoon could write such heart rending words in 1920, and let his mind range across such a sensitive and spiritual landscape, after experiencing the horrors of trench warfare is miraculous.

Below you can view, print or download a scan of Sassoon’s handwritten manuscript for this piece of work. Read more about Sassoon at The Poetry Foundation here.

Love's Day-Break by Siegfried Sasson - a poem, the original manuscript.

Download this image here (.jpeg)

“Love’s Daybreak / Everyone Sang,” by Sassoon, Siegfried (1886-1967). St. John’s College Library, Cambridge University / The Siegfried Sassoon Literary Estate via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed May 6, 2019, http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/collections/item/9825.