The Parable of the Old Man 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 they 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 (ca. 1917)

Wilfred Owen (1893–1918) was an English poet and a soldier in The Great War. He spent 1916–1917 on the front in France, and led a platoon into the Somme. He was hospitalized in England to recuperate from shell shock during 1917–1918, where he met fellow poet Sigfried Sassoon, and began to write the poems for which he is best known today.

Owen went back to active service in France in October 1918. He was killed by machine gun fire at the forcing of the Sambre-Oise Canal, one week before the Armistice. The English government awarded him the Military Cross after his death, for courage on the battlefield.

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