Rupert Brooke

(1887-1915 / Warwickshire / England)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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