The Collected
Poems of
Rupert Brooke


  1. Second Best
  2. Day That I Have Loved
  3. Sleeping Out: Full Moon
  4. In Examination
  5. Pine-Trees and the Sky: Evening
  6. Wagner
  7. The Vision of the Archangels
  8. Seaside
  9. On the Death of Smet-Smet,
    the Hippopotamus-Goddess
  10. The Song of the Pilgrims
  11. The Song of the Beasts
  12. Failure
  13. Ante Aram
  14. Dawn
  15. The Call
  16. The Wayfarers
  17. The Beginning


  18. Sonnet: Oh! Death will find me, long before I tire
  19. Sonnet: I said I splendidly loved you; it's not true.
  20. Success
  21. Dust
  22. Kindliness
  23. Mummia
  24. The Fish
  25. Thoughts on the Shape
    of the Human Body
  26. Flight
  27. The Hill
  28. The One Before the Last
  29. The Jolly Company
  30. The Life Beyond
  31. Lines Written in the Belief That the Ancient Roman Festival of the Dead Was Called Ambarvalia
  32. Dead Men's Love
  33. Town and Country
  34. Paralysis
  35. Menelaus and Helen
  36. Libido
  37. Jealousy
  38. Blue Evening
  39. The Charm
  40. Finding
  41. Song
  42. The Voice
  43. Dining-Room Tea
  44. The Goddess in the Wood
  45. A Channel Passage
  46. Victory
  47. Day and Night


  48. Choriambics -- I
  49. Choriambics -- II
  50. Desertion


  51. I. Peace
  52. II. Safety
  53. III. The Dead
  54. IV. The Dead
  55. V. The Soldier
  56. The Treasure

    The South Seas

  57. Tiare Tahiti
  58. Retrospect
  59. The Great Lover
  60. Heaven
  61. Doubts
  62. There's Wisdom in Women
  63. He Wonders Whether to Praise or to Blame Her
  64. A Memory (From a sonnet-sequence)
  65. One Day
  66. Waikiki
  67. Hauntings
  68. Sonnet (Suggested by some of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research)
  69. Clouds
  70. Mutability

    Other Poems

  71. The Busy Heart
  72. Love
  73. Unfortunate
  74. The Chilterns
  75. Home
  76. The Night Journey
  77. Song
  78. Beauty and Beauty
  79. The Way That Lovers Use
  80. Mary and Gabriel
  81. The Funeral of Youth: Threnody


  82. The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

Poets' Corner Scripting
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Rupert Brooke
The Collected Poems of

Rupert Brooke


Edited for the Web
by Bob Blair

. Choriambics -- I

    AH! NOT now, when desire burns, and the wind calls, and the suns of spring
    Light-foot dance in the woods, whisper of life, woo me to wayfaring;
    Ah! not now should you come, now when the road beckons, and good friends call,
    Where are songs to be sung, fights to be fought, yea! and the best of all,
    Love, on myriad lips fairer than yours, kisses you could not give! . . .
    Dearest, why should I mourn, whimper, and whine, I that have yet to live?
    Sorrow will I forget, tears for the best, love on the lips of you,
    Now, when dawn in the blood wakes, and the sun laughs up the eastern blue;
    I'll forget and be glad!
                         Only at length, dear, when the great day ends,
    When love dies with the last light, and the last song has been sung, and friends
    All are perished, and gloom strides on the heaven: then, as alone I lie,
    'Mid Death's gathering winds, frightened and dumb, sick for the past, may I
    Feel you suddenly there, cool at my brow; then may I hear the peace
    Of your voice at the last, whispering love, calling, ere all can cease
    In the silence of death; then may I see dimly, and know, a space,
    Bending over me, last light in the dark, once, as of old, your face.

    Rupert Brooke

. Choriambics -- II

    HERE the flame that was ash, shrine that was void, lost in the haunted wood,
    I have tended and loved, year upon year, I in the solitude
    Waiting, quiet and glad-eyed in the dark, knowing that once a gleam
    Glowed and went through the wood. Still I abode strong in a golden dream,
                                              For I, I that had faith, knew that a face would glance
    One day, white in the dim woods, and a voice call, and a radiance
    Fill the grove, and the fire suddenly leap . . . and, in the heart of it,
    End of labouring, you! Therefore I kept ready the altar, lit
    The flame, burning apart.
                                     Face of my dreams vainly in vision white
    Gleaming down to me, lo! hopeless I rise now. For about midnight
    Whispers grew through the wood suddenly, strange cries in the boughs above
    Grated, cries like a laugh. Silent and black then through the sacred grove
    Great birds flew, as a dream, troubling the leaves, passing at length.
                                              I knew
    Long expected and long loved, that afar, God of the dim wood, you
    Somewhere lay, as a child sleeping, a child suddenly reft from mirth,
    White and wonderful yet, white in your youth, stretched upon foreign earth,
    God, immortal and dead!
                                Therefore I go; never to rest, or win
    Peace, and worship of you more, and the dumb wood and the shrine therein.

    Rupert Brooke

. Desertion

    SO LIGHT we were, so right we were, so fair faith shone,
    And the way was laid so certainly, that, when I'd gone,
    What dumb thing looked up at you? Was it something heard,
    Or a sudden cry, that meekly and without a word
    You broke the faith, and strangely, weakly, slipped apart.
    You gave in -- - you, the proud of heart, unbowed of heart!
    Was this, friend, the end of all that we could do?
    And have you found the best for you, the rest for you?
    Did you learn so suddenly (and I not by!)
    Some whispered story, that stole the glory from the sky,
    And ended all the splendid dream, and made you go
    So dully from the fight we know, the light we know?

    O faithless! the faith remains, and I must pass
    Gay down the way, and on alone. Under the grass
    You wait; the breeze moves in the trees, and stirs, and calls,
    And covers you with white petals, with light petals.
    There it shall crumble, frail and fair, under the sun,
    O little heart, your brittle heart; till day be done,
    And the shadows gather, falling light, and, white with dew,
    Whisper, and weep; and creep to you. Good sleep to you!

    Rupert Brooke

. 1914: I. Peace

    NOW, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
    And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
    With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
    To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
    Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
    Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
    And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
    And all the little emptiness of love!

    Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
    Where there's no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
    Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
    Nothing to shake the laughing heart's long peace there
    But only agony, and that has ending;
    And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

    Rupert Brooke

. 1914: II. Safety

    DEAR! of all happy in the hour, most blest
    He who has found our hid security,
    Assured in the dark tides of the world that rest,
    And heard our word, `Who is so safe as we?'
    We have found safety with all things undying,
    The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,
    The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying,
    And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth.
    We have built a house that is not for Time's throwing.
    We have gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever.
    War knows no power. Safe shall be my going,
    Secretly armed against all death's endeavour;
    Safe though all safety's lost; safe where men fall;
    And if these poor limbs die, safest of all.

    Rupert Brooke

. 1914: III. The Dead

    BLOW out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
    There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
    But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
    These laid the world away; poured out the red
    Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
    Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
    That men call age; and those who would have been,
    Their sons, they gave, their immortality.

    Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
    Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
    Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
    And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
    And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
    And we have come into our heritage.

    Rupert Brooke

. 1914: IV. The Dead

    THESE hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
    Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
    The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
    And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
    These had seen movement, and heard music; known
    Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
    Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
    Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

    There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
    And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
    Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
    And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
    Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
    A width, a shining peace, under the night.

    Rupert Brooke

. 1914: V. 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.

    Rupert Brooke

. 1914: VI. The Treasure

    WHEN colour goes home into the eyes,
    And lights that shine are shut again
    With dancing girls and sweet birds' cries
    Behind the gateways of the brain;
    And that no-place which gave them birth, shall close
    The rainbow and the rose: -- -

    Still may Time hold some golden space
    Where I'll unpack that scented store
    Of song and flower and sky and face,
    And count, and touch, and turn them o'er,
    Musing upon them; as a mother, who
    Has watched her children all the rich day through
    Sits, quiet-handed, in the fading light,
    When children sleep, ere night.

    Rupert Brooke

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