Mr. Isaac's Social Studies Site

Argonne Forest, at Midnight

Otto Dix (German, 1915)


Argonne Forest, at midnight,

A [soldier] stands on guard.

A star shines high up in the sky,

Bringing greetings from a distant homeland.


And with a spade in his hand,

He waits forward in the sap-trench.

He thinks with longing of his love,

Wondering if he will ever see her again.


The artillery roars like thunder,

While we wait in front of the infantry,

With shells crashing all around.

The Frenchies want to take our position.


Should the enemy threaten us even more,

We Germans [will] fear him no more.

And should he be so strong,

He will not take our position.

The storm breaks! The mortar crashes!

The [soldier] begins his advance.


Forward to the enemy trenches,

There he pulls the pin on a grenade.


The infantry stand in wait,

Until the hand grenade explodes.

Then forward with the assault against the enemy,

And with a shout, break into their position.


Argonne Forest, Argonne Forest,

Soon thou will be a quiet cemetery.

In thy cool earth rests

Much gallant soldiers’ blood.


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