P.C. Home Page . Recent Additions
Poets' Corner Logo

    Rupert Brooke

    Back to Gordon Bottomley
    Forward to William H. Davies

    Tiare Tahiti

      Mamua, when our laughter ends,
      And hearts and bodies, brown as white,
      Are dust about the doors of friends,
      Or scent ablowing down the night,
      Then, oh! then, the wise agree,
      Comes our immortality.
      Mamua, there waits a land
      Hard for us to understand.
      Out of time, beyond the sun,
      All are one in Paradise,
      You and Pupure are one,
      And Taü, and the ungainly wise.
      There the Eternals are, and there
      The Good, the Lovely, and the True,
      And Types, whose earthly copies were
      The foolish broken things we knew;
      There is the Face, whose ghosts we are;
      The real, the never-setting Star;
      And the Flower, of which we love
      Faint and fading shadows here;
      Never a tear, but only Grief;
      Dance, but not the limbs that move;
      Songs in Song shall disappear;
      Instead of lovers, Love shall be;
      For hearts, Immutability;
      And there, on the Ideal Reef,
      Thunders the Everlasting Sea!

      And my laughter, and my pain,
      Shall home to the Eternal Brain.
      And all lovely things, they say,
      Meet in Loveliness again;
      Miri's laugh, Teïpo's feet,
      And the hands of Matua,
      Stars and sunlight there shall meet,
      Coral's hues and rainbows there,
      And Teura's braided hair;
      And with the starred tiare's white,
      And white birds in the dark ravine,
      And flamboyants ablaze at night,
      And jewels, and evening's after-green,
      And dawns of pearl and gold and red,
      Mamua, your lovelier head!
      And there'll no more be one who dreams
      Under the ferns, of crumbling stuff,
      Eyes of illusion, mouth that seems,
      All time-entangled human love.
      And you'll no longer swing and sway
      Divinely down the scented shade,
      Where feet to Ambulation fade,
      And moons are lost in endless Day.
      How shall we wind these wreaths of ours,
      Where there are neither heads nor flowers?
      Oh, Heaven's Heaven! -- - but we'll be missing
      The palms, and sunlight, and the south;
      And there's an end, I think, of kissing,
      When our mouths are one with Mouth. . . .

      Taü here, Mamua,
      Crown the hair, and come away!
      Hear the calling of the moon,
      And the whispering scents that stray
      About the idle warm lagoon.
      Hasten, hand in human hand,
      Down the dark, the flowered way,
      Along the whiteness of the sand,
      And in the water's soft caress,
      Wash the mind of foolishness,
      Mamua, until the day.
      Spend the glittering moonlight there
      Pursuing down the soundless deep
      Limbs that gleam and shadowy hair,
      Or floating lazy, half-asleep.
      Dive and double and follow after,
      Snare in flowers, and kiss, and call,
      With lips that fade, and human laughter
      And faces individual,
      Well this side of Paradise! . . .
      There's little comfort in the wise.

    The Great Lover

      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, færy 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."

    Beauty and Beauty

      When Beauty and Beauty meet
            All naked, fair to fair,
      The earth is crying-sweet,
            And scattering-bright the air,
      Eddying, dizzying, closing round,
            With soft and drunken laughter;
      Veiling all that may befall
            After -- after --

      Where Beauty and Beauty met,
            Earth's still a-tremble there,
      And winds are scented yet,
            And memory-soft the air,
      Bosoming, folding glints of light,
            And shreds of shadowy laughter;
      Not the tears that fill the years
            After -- after --


      Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June,
      Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
      Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
      Each secret fishy hope or fear.
      Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
      But is there anything Beyond?
      This life cannot be All, they swear,
      For how unpleasant, if it were!
      One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
      Shall come of Water and of Mud;
      And, sure, the reverent eye must see
      A Purpose in Liquidity.
      We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
      The future is not Wholly Dry.
      Mud unto mud! -- - Death eddies near -- -
      Not here the appointed End, not here!
      But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
      Is wetter water, slimier slime!
      And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
      Who swam ere rivers were begun,
      Immense, of fishy form and mind,
      Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
      And under that Almighty Fin,
      The littlest fish may enter in.
      Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
      Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
      But more than mundane weeds are there,
      And mud, celestially fair;
      Fat caterpillars drift around,
      And Paradisal grubs are found;
      Unfading moths, immortal flies,
      And the worm that never dies.
      And in that Heaven of all their wish,
      There shall be no more land, say fish.


      Down the blue night the unending columns press
            In noiseless tumult, break and wave and flow,
            Now tread the far South, or lift rounds of snow
      Up to the white moon's hidden loveliness.
      Some pause in their grave wandering comradeless,
            And turn with profound gesture vague and slow,
            As who would pray good for the world, but know
      Their benediction empty as they bless.

      They say that the Dead die not, but remain
            Near to the rich heirs of their grief and mirth.
                 I think they ride the calm mid-heaven, as these,
      In wise majestic melancholy train,
                 And watch the moon, and the still-raging seas,
            And men, coming and going on the earth.


    (Suggested by some of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research)

      Not with vain tears, when we're beyond the sun,
            We'll beat on the substantial doors, nor tread
            Those dusty high-roads of the aimless dead
      Plaintive for Earth; but rather turn and run
      Down some close-covered by-way of the air,
            Some low sweet alley between wind and wind,
            Stoop under faint gleams, thread the shadows, find
      Some whispering ghost-forgotten nook, and there

      Spend in pure converse our eternal day;
            Think each in each, immediately wise;
      Learn all we lacked before; hear, know, and say
            What this tumultuous body now denies;
      And feel, who have laid our groping hands away;
            And see, no longer blinded by our eyes.

    The Soldier

      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.

    Back to Gordon Bottomley
    Forward to William H. Davies

Poets' Corner . H O M E . E-mail