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Best Famous Rupert Brooke Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Rupert Brooke poems. This is a select list of the best famous Rupert Brooke poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Rupert Brooke poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Rupert Brooke poems.

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Written by Joyce Kilmer | |

In Memory of Rupert Brooke

 In alien earth, across a troubled sea,
His body lies that was so fair and young.
His mouth is stopped, with half his songs unsung; His arm is still, that struck to make men free.
But let no cloud of lamentation be Where, on a warrior's grave, a lyre is hung.
We keep the echoes of his golden tongue, We keep the vision of his chivalry.
So Israel's joy, the loveliest of kings, Smote now his harp, and now the hostile horde.
To-day the starry roof of Heaven rings With psalms a soldier made to praise his Lord; And David rests beneath Eternal wings, Song on his lips, and in his hand a sword.


Written by Joyce Kilmer | |

The Proud Poet

 (For Shaemas O Sheel)

One winter night a Devil came and sat upon my bed,
His eyes were full of laughter for his heart was full of crime.
"Why don't you take up fancy work, or embroidery?" he said, "For a needle is as manly a tool as a pen that makes a rhyme!" "You little ugly Devil," said I, "go back to Hell For the idea you express I will not listen to: I have trouble enough with poetry and poverty as well, Without having to pay attention to orators like you.
"When you say of the making of ballads and songs that it is woman's work You forget all the fighting poets that have been in every land.
There was Byron who left all his lady-loves to fight against the Turk, And David, the Singing King of the Jews, who was born with a sword in his hand.
It was yesterday that Rupert Brooke went out to the Wars and died, And Sir Philip Sidney's lyric voice was as sweet as his arm was strong; And Sir Walter Raleigh met the axe as a lover meets his bride, Because he carried in his soul the courage of his song.
"And there is no consolation so quickening to the heart As the warmth and whiteness that come from the lines of noble poetry.
It is strong joy to read it when the wounds of the spirit smart, It puts the flame in a lonely breast where only ashes be.
It is strong joy to read it, and to make it is a thing That exalts a man with a sacreder pride than any pride on earth.
For it makes him kneel to a broken slave and set his foot on a king, And it shakes the walls of his little soul with the echo of God's mirth.
"There was the poet Homer had the sorrow to be blind, Yet a hundred people with good eyes would listen to him all night; For they took great enjoyment in the heaven of his mind, And were glad when the old blind poet let them share his powers of sight.
And there was Heine lying on his mattress all day long, He had no wealth, he had no friends, he had no joy at all, Except to pour his sorrow into little cups of song, And the world finds in them the magic wine that his broken heart let fall.
"And these are only a couple of names from a list of a thousand score Who have put their glory on the world in poverty and pain.
And the title of poet's a noble thing, worth living and dying for, Though all the devils on earth and in Hell spit at me their disdain.
It is stern work, it is perilous work, to thrust your hand in the sun And pull out a spark of immortal flame to warm the hearts of men: But Prometheus, torn by the claws and beaks whose task is never done, Would be tortured another eternity to go stealing fire again.
"


Written by John Betjeman | |

The Olympic Girl

 The sort of girl I like to see
Smiles down from her great height at me.
She stands in strong, athletic pose And wrinkles her retrouss? nose.
Is it distaste that makes her frown, So furious and freckled, down On an unhealthy worm like me? Or am I what she likes to see? I do not know, though much I care, xxxxxxxx.
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would I were (Forgive me, shade of Rupert Brooke) An object fit to claim her look.
Oh! would I were her racket press'd With hard excitement to her breast And swished into the sunlit air Arm-high above her tousled hair, And banged against the bounding ball "Oh! Plung!" my tauten'd strings would call, "Oh! Plung! my darling, break my strings For you I will do brilliant things.
" And when the match is over, I Would flop beside you, hear you sigh; And then with what supreme caress, You'd tuck me up into my press.
Fair tigress of the tennis courts, So short in sleeve and strong in shorts, Little, alas, to you I mean, For I am bald and old and green.


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Written by Rupert Brooke | |

The Goddess in the Wood

 In a flowered dell the Lady Venus stood,
Amazed with sorrow.
Down the morning one Far golden horn in the gold of trees and sun Rang out; and held; and died.
… She thought the wood Grew quieter.
Wing, and leaf, and pool of light Forgot to dance.
Dumb lay the unfalling stream; Life one eternal instant rose in dream Clear out of time, poised on a golden height.
… Till a swift terror broke the abrupt hour.
The gold waves purled amidst the green above her; And a bird sang.
With one sharp-taken breath, By sunlit branches and unshaken flower, The immortal limbs flashed to the human lover, And the immortal eyes to look on death.


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

The Busy Heart

 Now that we’ve done our best and worst, and parted, 
I would fill my mind with thoughts that will not rend.
(O heart, I do not dare go empty-hearted) I’ll think of Love in books, Love without end; Women with child, content; and old men sleeping; And wet strong ploughlands, scarred for certain grain; And babes that weep, and so forget their weeping; And the young heavens, forgetful after rain; And evening hush, broken by homing wings; And Song’s nobility, and Wisdom holy, That live, we dead.
I would think of a thousand things, Lovely and durable, and taste them slowly, One after one, like tasting a sweet food.
I have need to busy my heart with quietude.


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

Victory

 All night the ways of Heaven were desolate,
Long roads across a gleaming empty sky.
Outcast and doomed and driven, you and I, Alone, serene beyond all love or hate, Terror or triumph, were content to wait, We, silent and all-knowing.
Suddenly Swept through the heaven low-crouching from on high, One horseman, downward to the earth's low gate.
Oh, perfect from the ultimate height of living, Lightly we turned, through wet woods blossom-hung, Into the open.
Down the supernal roads, With plumes a-tossing, purple flags far flung, Rank upon rank, unbridled, unforgiving, Thundered the black battalions of the Gods.


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

Sonnet Reversed

 Hand trembling towards hand; the amazing lights 
Of heart and eye.
They stood on supreme heights.
Ah, the delirious weeks of honeymoon! Soon they returned, and, after strange adventures, Settled at Balham by the end of June.
Their money was in Can.
Pacs.
B.
Debentures, And in Antofagastas.
Still he went Cityward daily; still she did abide At home.
And both were really quite content With work and social pleasures.
Then they died.
They left three children (besides George, who drank): The eldest Jane, who married Mr Bell, William, the head-clerk in the County Bank, And Henry, a stock-broker, doing well.


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

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.


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

Waikiki

 Warm perfumes like a breath from vine and tree
Drift down the darkness.
Plangent, hidden from eyes Somewhere an `eukaleli' thrills and cries And stabs with pain the night's brown savagery.
And dark scents whisper; and dim waves creep to me, Gleam like a woman's hair, stretch out, and rise; And new stars burn into the ancient skies, Over the murmurous soft Hawaian sea.
And I recall, lose, grasp, forget again, And still remember, a tale I have heard, or known, An empty tale, of idleness and pain, Of two that loved -- or did not love -- and one Whose perplexed heart did evil, foolishly, A long while since, and by some other sea.


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

Lines Written In The Belief That The Ancient Roman Festival Of The Dead Was Called Ambarvalia

 Swings the way still by hollow and hill,
And all the world's a song;
"She's far," it sings me, "but fair," it rings me,
"Quiet," it laughs, "and strong!"

Oh! spite of the miles and years between us,
Spite of your chosen part,
I do remember; and I go
With laughter in my heart.
So above the little folk that know not, Out of the white hill-town, High up I clamber; and I remember; And watch the day go down.
Gold is my heart, and the world's golden, And one peak tipped with light; And the air lies still about the hill With the first fear of night; Till mystery down the soundless valley Thunders, and dark is here; And the wind blows, and the light goes, And the night is full of fear, And I know, one night, on some far height, In the tongue I never knew, I yet shall hear the tidings clear From them that were friends of you.
They'll call the news from hill to hill, Dark and uncomforted, Earth and sky and the winds; and I Shall know that you are dead.
I shall not hear your trentals, Nor eat your arval bread; For the kin of you will surely do Their duty by the dead.
Their little dull greasy eyes will water; They'll paw you, and gulp afresh.
They'll sniffle and weep, and their thoughts will creep Like flies on the cold flesh.
They will put pence on your grey eyes, Bind up your fallen chin, And lay you straight, the fools that loved you Because they were your kin.
They will praise all the bad about you, And hush the good away, And wonder how they'll do without you, And then they'll go away.
But quieter than one sleeping, And stranger than of old, You will not stir for weeping, You will not mind the cold; But through the night the lips will laugh not, The hands will be in place, And at length the hair be lying still About the quiet face.
With snuffle and sniff and handkerchief, And dim and decorous mirth, With ham and sherry, they'll meet to bury The lordliest lass of earth.
The little dead hearts will tramp ungrieving Behind lone-riding you, The heart so high, the heart so living, Heart that they never knew.
I shall not hear your trentals, Nor eat your arval bread, Nor with smug breath tell lies of death To the unanswering dead.
With snuffle and sniff and handkerchief, The folk who loved you not Will bury you, and go wondering Back home.
And you will rot.
But laughing and half-way up to heaven, With wind and hill and star, I yet shall keep, before I sleep, Your Ambarvalia.


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

Sonnet: Oh! Death will find me long before I tire

 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.


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

Retrospect

 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 greying 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 slight world you had known Your vast unconsciousness was thrown.
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O haven without wave or tide! Silence, in which all songs have died! Holy book, where 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!


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

Kindliness

 When love has changed to kindliness --
Oh, love, our hungry lips, that press
So tight that Time's an old god's dream
Nodding in heaven, and whisper stuff
Seven million years were not enough
To think on after, make it seem
Less than the breath of children playing,
A blasphemy scarce worth the saying,
A sorry jest, "When love has grown
To kindliness -- to kindliness!" .
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And yet -- the best that either's known Will change, and wither, and be less, At last, than comfort, or its own Remembrance.
And when some caress Tendered in habit (once a flame All heaven sang out to) wakes the shame Unworded, in the steady eyes We'll have, -- THAT day, what shall we do? Being so noble, kill the two Who've reached their second-best? Being wise, Break cleanly off, and get away.
Follow down other windier skies New lures, alone? Or shall we stay, Since this is all we've known, content In the lean twilight of such day, And not remember, not lament? That time when all is over, and Hand never flinches, brushing hand; And blood lies quiet, for all you're near; And it's but spoken words we hear, Where trumpets sang; when the mere skies Are stranger and nobler than your eyes; And flesh is flesh, was flame before; And infinite hungers leap no more In the chance swaying of your dress; And love has changed to kindliness.


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

Mummia

 As those of old drank mummia
To fire their limbs of lead,
Making dead kings from Africa
Stand pandar to their bed;

Drunk on the dead, and medicined
With spiced imperial dust,
In a short night they reeled to find
Ten centuries of lust.
So I, from paint, stone, tale, and rhyme, Stuffed love's infinity, And sucked all lovers of all time To rarify ecstasy.
Helen's the hair shuts out from me Verona's livid skies; Gypsy the lips I press; and see Two Antonys in your eyes.
The unheard invisible lovely dead Lie with us in this place, And ghostly hands above my head Close face to straining face; Their blood is wine along our limbs; Their whispering voices wreathe Savage forgotten drowsy hymns Under the names we breathe; Woven from their tomb, and one with it, The night wherein we press; Their thousand pitchy pyres have lit Your flaming nakedness.
For the uttermost years have cried and clung To kiss your mouth to mine; And hair long dust was caught, was flung, Hand shaken to hand divine, And Life has fired, and Death not shaded, All Time's uncounted bliss, And the height o' the world has flamed and faded, Love, that our love be this!


Written by Rupert Brooke | |

Ante Aram

 Before thy shrine I kneel, an unknown worshipper,
Chanting strange hymns to thee and sorrowful litanies,
Incense of dirges, prayers that are as holy myrrh.
Ah, goddess, on thy throne of tears and faint low sighs, Weary at last to theeward come the feet that err, And empty hearts grown tired of the world's vanities.
How fair this cool deep silence to a wanderer Deaf with the roar of winds along the open skies! Sweet, after sting and bitter kiss of sea-water, The pale Lethean wine within thy chalices! I come before thee, I, too tired wanderer, To heed the horror of the shrine, the distant cries, And evil whispers in the gloom, or the swift whirr Of terrible wings -- I, least of all thy votaries, With a faint hope to see the scented darkness stir, And, parting, frame within its quiet mysteries One face, with lips than autumn-lilies tenderer, And voice more sweet than the far plaint of viols is, Or the soft moan of any grey-eyed lute-player.