posted by Mike .
Thank you very much. Can you help me rephrase the last few lines, please?
"Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori."
1) After describing the horrifying effects of the gas attack he addresses the reader directly. If the reader could experience the horror of the war, he wouldn't tell his children the old lie.
2) He wouldn't tell them that
serving one's country in war is glorious.
He is critical of the 'high zest', or great enthusiasm, used to convince men to go to war. He sees war as brutal and wasteful of young lives.
3) His choice of the word 'children' is also significant; impressionable young men are almost lured to war by the promise of 'desperate glory'.
I'd put a comma in #1 after "gas attack, he..."