February 7 Rupert Brooke

In contrast Rupert Brooke’s 1914 Sonnets were written earlier in the war when patriotic idealism had not yet been drowned in Flanders’ mud and the inhuman horrors of trench warfare. Brooke’s original analogy of physical and spiritual reintegration after death is memorable:

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.


 Next: The Manor Farm  Edward Thomas