Rupert Brooke

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rupert Brooke

Rupert Chawner Brooke (3 August 188723 April 1915) was an English poet.


  • "And when we die,
    All’s over that is ours; and life burns on
    Through other lovers, other lips," said I
    —"Heart of my heart, our heaven is now, is won!"
    "We are earth’s best, that learnt her lesson here,
    Life is our cry. We have kept the faith!" we said.
    • "The Hill" (1910)
  • Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night.
    • Reported in The Complete Works of Rupert Brooke (Delphi Classics, 2013), p. 123
  • Oh! Death will find me, long before I tire
    Of watching you; and swing me suddenly
    Into the shade and loneliness and mire
    Of the last land! There, waiting patiently,
    One day, I think, I'll feel a cool wind blowing,
    See a slow light across the Stygian tide,
    And hear the Dead about me stir, unknowing,
    And tremble. And I shall know that you have died,
    And watch you, a broad-browed and smiling dream,
    Pass, light as ever, through the lightless host,
    Quietly ponder, start, and sway, and gleam—
    Most individual and bewildering ghost!—
    And turn, and toss your brown delightful head
    Amusedly, among the ancient Dead.
    • "Sonnet" (1908–1910)
  • And in my flower-beds, I think,
    Smile the carnation and the pink.
    • "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester" (1912)
  • Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
    And is there honey still for tea?
    • "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester" (1912), concluding lines
  • 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.
    • "Heaven" (1913)
  • 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.
    • "The Dead" (1914)
  • 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 conceal’d;
    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.
      Wash’d 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.

Quotes about Rupert Brooke

  • You ask about Rupert Brooke. Considering we were on Christian name terms, I did not know him well, though enough to contradict the legends that the press are weaving round his name him. He was serene, humorous, intelligent and beautiful—as charming an acquaintance as one could desire—and latterly most friendly. But he was essentially hard; his hatred of slosh went rather too deep and affected the eternal water-springs, and I don't envy anyone who applied to him for sympathy. The sonnets, on which his reputation is evidently to be based, differ from all his previous work, which was rebellious and unorthodox. They were inspired by his romantic thoughts about war, not by his knowledge of it; that also, had he been spared to gain it, he was hoping to express, and, knowing his grim and grotesque realism, I feel sure that he would have expressed something besides the Holiness in which—to me so inappropriately—his work concludes. I don't know whether the above conveys anything to you. If it errs on the side of unkindness he himself wouldn't like it the less, for he was extraordinarily free of conceit and sincerely desired to be done by as he did. But he goes down to posterity as a sort of St Sebastian, haloed by the Dean of St Paul's, and hymned by the Morning Post as the evangelist of anti-Germanism. As far as I dare speak for Rupert, how he would hate it, or rather laugh at it.
    • E. M. Forster to Malcolm Darling (2 August 1915), quoted in Selected Letters of E. M. Forster. Volume One, 1879–1920, eds. Mary Lago and P. N. Furbank (1983), p. 227
  • I began Rupert Brooke's poems and the memoir at the beginning. I was extraordinarily impressed, particularly by the letters – they, I think, bring out more than anything the situation I have tried to show in my editorial, that the beauty of living has gone out of the youngest generation... I felt very envious reading, particularly the parts about Rugby and friendship. I do honestly think that that is something that went out of the world in 1914, at least for one generation.
    • Evelyn Waugh, diary entry (22 November 1921), quoted in The Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, ed. Michael Davie (1976), p. 147
  • We laid him in a cool and shadowed grove
    One evening in the dreamy scent of thyme
    Where leaves were green, and whispered high above—
    A grave as humble as it was sublime;
    There, dreaming in the fading deeps of light—
    The hands that thrilled to touch a woman's hair;
    Brown eyes, that loved the Day, and looked on Night,
    A soul that found at last its answered Prayer. ...
    There daylight, as a dust, slips through the trees.
    And drifting, gilds the fern around his grave—
    Where even now, perhaps, the evening breeze
    Steals shyly past the tomb of him who gave
    New sight to blinded eyes; who sometimes wept—
    A short time dearly loved; and after,—slept.
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource has original works by or about: