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Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Brooke’

I have been so great a lover: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of Love’s praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and still content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair,
For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear
Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife
Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far,
My night shall be remembered for a star
That outshone all the suns of all men’s days.
Shall I not crown them with immortal praise
Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me
High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see
The inenarrable godhead of delight?
Love is a flame:–we have beaconed the world’s night.
A city:–and we have built it, these and I.
An emperor:–we have taught the world to die.
So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence,
And the high cause of Love’s magnificence,
And to keep loyalties young, I’ll write those names
Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames,
And set them as a banner, that men may know,
To dare the generations, burn, and blow
Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming . . . .
These I have loved:
……………..White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such–
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair’s fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year’s ferns. . . .
……………………………………………………Dear names,
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water’s dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the ground; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body’s pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass;–
All these have been my loves. And these shall pass,
Whatever passes not, in the great hour,
Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power
To hold them with me through the gate of Death.
They’ll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath,
Break the high bond we made, and sell Love’s trust
And sacramented covenant to the dust.
—-Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake,
And give what’s left of love again, and make
New friends, now strangers. . . .
……………………………….But the best I’ve known
Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown
About the winds of the world, and fades from brains
Of living men, and dies.
……………………………….Nothing remains.
O dear my loves, O faithless, once again
This one last gift I give: that after men
Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed,
Praise you, ‘All these were lovely’; say, ‘He loved.’

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mfjy8q2

The guns of war shot, from the sky,
The brave young songbirds flying by
Who looked down from their Homeric height
And sang their songs in war’s dark night.
A Seeger and a Sorely fell,
An Owen, – Rosenberg as well,
As did a Grenfell, Thomas, West –
And most were young, not far from nest.
Raw Rupert Brooke, too, went away,
As did the Flander’s John McCrae.

They named their killer, named him well,
That War was instrument of hell.
Those poets who, as soldiers served,
Looked up from mud and blood, observed
That War, to men in trenches (graves)
Had rhyme, not reason, for its slaves.
They saw, then paid, the great expense
And knew flung armies made no sense –
Just like poor Owen died a week
Before armistice showed its cheek.
And while his parents heard of this,
The bells were tolling peace and bliss.

The guns of war shot, from the sky,
The brave young songbirds flying by.
And though their brief flight ended there,
Their sweet sad songs still fill the air.

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The war poets named within my poem, with cause of death and a link to one of their poems:

Rupert Brooke died during the war of blood poisoning.
The Soldier – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/the-soldier-by-rupert-brooke/

John McCrae died of pneumonia.
In Flanders Field -https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/in-flanders-fields-by-john-d-mccrae/

Julian Grenfell was killed by shrapnel.
Into Battle – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/into-battle-by-julian-grenfell/

Wilfred Owen was killed on Nov.4.  His parents were told the news as bells on Nov.11 were ringing to celebrate peace.
Miners – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/miners-by-wilfred-owen/

Isaac Rosenberg died in combat on the night of April 1, 1918.
Dead Man’s Dump – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/dead-mans-dump-by-isaac-rosenberg/

Alan Seeger was killed by machine gun fire, July 4, 1916.
I Have A Rendezvous With Death – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/i-have-a-rendezvous-with-death-by-alan-seeger/

Charles Sorley was killed by a German sniper on Oct.13, 1915.
All The Hills And Vales Along – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/all-the-hills-and-vales-along-by-charles-sorley/

Arthur West was shot dead by a sniper’s bullet on April 3, 1917
God! How I Hate You – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/god-how-i-hate-you-young-men-by-arthur-west/

Edward Thomas, “shot clean through the chest”, died in action in 1917.
This Is No Case Of Petty Right Or Wrong – https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/this-is-no-case-of-petty-right-or-wrong-by-edward-thomas/

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photo by Michael and Christa Richert at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/mfjy8q2/gun+carriage

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

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If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.  There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

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