War Poets. Rupert Brooke

by Daniel Russ on January 14, 2018

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Rupert Brooke

 

 

Rupert Brooke was already an established as a writer and poet before he took up arms in World War I. A contemporary of William Butler Yeats, he also galavanted about with Virginia Woolf. He served in the Royal Navy and is most known for this sonnet:

 

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.

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