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- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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
- Your hands, my dear, adorable,
- Your lips of tenderness
- --Oh, I've loved you faithfully and well,
- Three years, or a bit less.
- It wasn't a success.
- Thank God, that's done! and I'll take the road,
- Quit of my youth and you,
- The Roman road to Wendover
- By Tring and Lilley Hoo,
- As a free man may do.
- For youth goes over, the joys that fly,
- The tears that follow fast;
- And the dirtiest things we do must lie
- Forgotten at the last;
- Even love goes past.
- What's left behind I shall not find,
- The splendor and the pain;
- The splash of sun, the shouting wind,
- And the brave sting of rain,
- I may not meet again.
- But the years, that take the best away,
- Give something in the end;
- And a better friend than love have they,
- For none to mar or mend,
- That have themselves to friend.
- I shall desire and I shall find
- The best of my desires;
- The autumn road, the mellow wind
- That soothes the darkening shires.
- And laughter, and inn-fires.
- White mist about the black hedgerows,
- The slumbering Midland plain,
- The silence where the clover grows,
- And the dead leaves in the lane,
- Certainly, these remain.
- And I shall find some girl perhaps,
- And a better one than you,
- With eyes as wise, but kindlier,
- With lips as soft, but true.
- And I daresay she will do.
- Rupert Brooke
- In your arms was still delight,
- Quiet as a street at night;
- And thoughts of you, I do remember,
- Were green leaves in a darkened chamber,
- Were dark clouds in a moonless sky.
- Love, in you, went passing by,
- Penetrative, remote, and rare,
- Like a bird in the wide air;
- And, as the bird, it left no trace
- In the heaven of your face.
- In your stupidity I found
- The sweet hush after a sweet sound.
- All about you was the light
- That dims the graying end of night;
- Desire was the unrisen sun,
- Joy the day not yet begun,
- With tree whispering to tree,
- Without wind, quietly.
- Wisdom slept within your hair,
- And Long-suffering was there,
- And, in the flowing of your dress,
- Undiscerning Tenderness.
- And when you thought, it seemed to me,
- Infinitely, and like a sea,
- About the sleight world you had known
- Your vast unconsciousness was thrown. . . .
- O haven without wave or tide!
- Silence, in which all songs have died!
- Holy book, where all hearts are still!
- And home at length, under the hill!
- O mother quiet, breasts of peace,
- Where love itself would faint and cease!
- O infinite deep I never knew,
- I would come back, come back to you;
- Find you, as a pool unstirred,
- Kneel down by you, and never a word;
- Lay my head, and nothing said,
- In your hands, ungarlanded.
- And a long watch you would keep;
- And I should sleep, and I should sleep!
- Rupert Brooke
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