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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 Rupert Brooke |

A Letter to a Live Poet

 Sir, since the last Elizabethan died,
Or, rather, that more Paradisal muse,
Blind with much light, passed to the light more glorious
Or deeper blindness, no man's hand, as thine,
Has, on the world's most noblest chord of song,
Struck certain magic strains.
Ears satiate With the clamorous, timorous whisperings of to-day, Thrilled to perceive once more the spacious voice And serene unterrance of old.
We heard -- With rapturous breath half-held, as a dreamer dreams Who dares not know it dreaming, lest he wake -- The odorous, amorous style of poetry, The melancholy knocking of those lines, The long, low soughing of pentameters, -- Or the sharp of rhyme as a bird's cry -- And the innumerable truant polysyllables Multitudinously twittering like a bee.
Fulfilled our hearts were with the music then, And all the evenings sighed it to the dawn, And all the lovers heard it from all the trees.
All of the accents upon the all the norms! -- And ah! the stress of the penultimate! We never knew blank verse could have such feet.
Where is it now? Oh, more than ever, now I sometimes think no poetry is read Save where some sepultured C?sura bled, Royally incarnadining all the line.
Is the imperial iamb laid to rest, And the young trochee, having done enough? Ah! turn again! Sing so to us, who are sick Of seeming-simple rhymes, bizarre emotions, Decked in the simple verses of the day, Infinite meaning in a little gloom, Irregular thoughts in stanzas regular, Modern despair in antique metres, myths Incomprehensible at evening, And symbols that mean nothing in the dawn.
The slow lines swell.
The new style sighs.
The Celt Moans round with many voices.
God! to see Gaunt anap?sts stand up out of the verse, Combative accents, stress where no stress should be, Spondee on spondee, iamb on choriamb, The thrill of all the tribrachs in the world, And all the vowels rising to the E! To hear the blessed mutter of those verbs, Conjunctions passionate toward each other's arms, And epithets like amaranthine lovers Stretching luxuriously to the stars, All prouder pronouns than the dawn, and all The thunder of the trumpets of the noun!

Written by Rupert Brooke |

A Memory

 (From a sonnet-sequence)

Somewhile before the dawn I rose, and stept 
Softly along the dim way to your room, 
And found you sleeping in the quiet gloom, 
And holiness about you as you slept.
I knelt there; till your waking fingers crept About my head, and held it.
I had rest Unhoped this side of Heaven, beneath your breast.
I knelt a long time, still; nor even wept.
It was great wrong you did me; and for gain Of that poor moment’s kindliness, and ease, And sleepy mother-comfort! Child, you know How easily love leaps out to dreams like these, Who has seen them true.
And love that’s wakened so Takes all too long to lay asleep again.

Written by Rupert Brooke |

The Funeral of Youth: Threnody

 The Day that Youth had died,
There came to his grave-side, 
In decent mourning, from the country’s ends, 
Those scatter’d friends 
Who had lived the boon companions of his prime,
And laughed with him and sung with him and wasted, 
In feast and wine and many-crown’d carouse, 
The days and nights and dawnings of the time 
When Youth kept open house, 
Nor left untasted
Aught of his high emprise and ventures dear, 
No quest of his unshar’d— 
All these, with loitering feet and sad head bar’d, 
Followed their old friend’s bier.
Folly went first, With muffled bells and coxcomb still revers’d; And after trod the bearers, hat in hand— Laughter, most hoarse, and Captain Pride with tanned And martial face all grim, and fussy Joy Who had to catch a train, and Lust, poor, snivelling boy; These bore the dear departed.
Behind them, broken-hearted, Came Grief, so noisy a widow, that all said, “Had he but wed Her elder sister Sorrow, in her stead!” And by her, trying to soothe her all the time, The fatherless children, Colour, Tune, and Rhyme (The sweet lad Rhyme), ran all-uncomprehending.
Then, at the way’s sad ending, Round the raw grave they stay’d.
Old Wisdom read, In mumbling tone, the Service for the Dead.
There stood Romance, The furrowing tears had mark’d her roug?d cheek; Poor old Conceit, his wonder unassuaged; Dead Innocency’s daughter, Ignorance; And shabby, ill-dress’d Generosity; And Argument, too full of woe to speak; Passion, grown portly, something middle-aged; And Friendship—not a minute older, she; Impatience, ever taking out his watch; Faith, who was deaf, and had to lean, to catch Old Wisdom’s endless drone.
Beauty was there, Pale in her black; dry-eyed; she stood alone.
Poor maz’d Imagination; Fancy wild; Ardour, the sunlight on his greying hair; Contentment, who had known Youth as a child And never seen him since.
And Spring came too, Dancing over the tombs, and brought him flowers— She did not stay for long.
And Truth, and Grace, and all the merry crew, The laughing Winds and Rivers, and lithe Hours; And Hope, the dewy-eyed; and sorrowing Song;— Yes, with much woe and mourning general, At dead Youth’s funeral, Even these were met once more together, all, Who erst the fair and living Youth did know; All, except only Love.
Love had died long ago.

Written by Rupert Brooke |


 When I see you, who were so wise and cool,
Gazing with silly sickness on that fool
You've given your love to, your adoring hands
Touch his so intimately that each understands,
I know, most hidden things; and when I know
Your holiest dreams yield to the stupid bow
Of his red lips, and that the empty grace
Of those strong legs and arms, that rosy face,
Has beaten your heart to such a flame of love,
That you have given him every touch and move,
Wrinkle and secret of you, all your life,
-- Oh! then I know I'm waiting, lover-wife,
For the great time when love is at a close,
And all its fruit's to watch the thickening nose
And sweaty neck and dulling face and eye,
That are yours, and you, most surely, till you die!
Day after day you'll sit with him and note
The greasier tie, the dingy wrinkling coat;
As prettiness turns to pomp, and strength to fat,
And love, love, love to habit!
And after that,
When all that's fine in man is at an end,
And you, that loved young life and clean, must tend
A foul sick fumbling dribbling body and old,
When his rare lips hang flabby and can't hold
Slobber, and you're enduring that worst thing,
Senility's queasy furtive love-making,
And searching those dear eyes for human meaning,
Propping the bald and helpless head, and cleaning
A scrap that life's flung by, and love's forgotten, --
Then you'll be tired; and passion dead and rotten;
And he'll be dirty, dirty!
O lithe and free
And lightfoot, that the poor heart cries to see,
That's how I'll see your man and you! --

But you
-- Oh, when THAT time comes, you'll be dirty too!

Written by Rupert Brooke |

The Song of the Pilgrims

 (Halted around the fire by night, after moon-set, they sing this beneath the trees.
) What light of unremembered skies Hast thou relumed within our eyes, Thou whom we seek, whom we shall find? .
A certain odour on the wind, Thy hidden face beyond the west, These things have called us; on a quest Older than any road we trod, More endless than desire.
Far God, Sigh with thy cruel voice, that fills The soul with longing for dim hills And faint horizons! For there come Grey moments of the antient dumb Sickness of travel, when no song Can cheer us; but the way seems long; And one remembers.
Ah! the beat Of weary unreturning feet, And songs of pilgrims unreturning! .
The fires we left are always burning On the old shrines of home.
Our kin Have built them temples, and therein Pray to the Gods we know; and dwell In little houses lovable, Being happy (we remember how!) And peaceful even to death.
O Thou, God of all long desirous roaming, Our hearts are sick of fruitless homing, And crying after lost desire.
Hearten us onward! as with fire Consuming dreams of other bliss.
The best Thou givest, giving this Sufficient thing -- to travel still Over the plain, beyond the hill, Unhesitating through the shade, Amid the silence unafraid, Till, at some sudden turn, one sees Against the black and muttering trees Thine altar, wonderfully white, Among the Forests of the Night.

Written by Rupert Brooke |


 I think if you had loved me when I wanted;
If I'd looked up one day, and seen your eyes,
And found my wild sick blasphemous prayer granted,
And your brown face, that's full of pity and wise,
Flushed suddenly; the white godhead in new fear
Intolerably so struggling, and so shamed;
Most holy and far, if you'd come all too near,
If earth had seen Earth's lordliest wild limbs tamed,
Shaken, and trapped, and shivering, for MY touch --
Myself should I have slain? or that foul you?
But this the strange gods, who had given so much,
To have seen and known you, this they might not do.
One last shame's spared me, one black word's unspoken; And I'm alone; and you have not awoken.

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.
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 |


 Because God put His adamantine fate
Between my sullen heart and its desire,
I swore that I would burst the Iron Gate,
Rise up, and curse Him on His throne of fire.
Earth shuddered at my crown of blasphemy, But Love was as a flame about my feet; Proud up the Golden Stair I strode; and beat Thrice on the Gate, and entered with a cry -- All the great courts were quiet in the sun, And full of vacant echoes: moss had grown Over the glassy pavement, and begun To creep within the dusty council-halls.
An idle wind blew round an empty throne And stirred the heavy curtains on the walls.

Written by Rupert Brooke |

Funeral Of Youth The: Threnody

 The day that YOUTH had died,
There came to his grave-side,
In decent mourning, from the country's ends,
Those scatter'd friends
Who had lived the boon companions of his prime,
And laughed with him and sung with him and wasted,
In feast and wine and many-crown'd carouse,
The days and nights and dawnings of the time
When YOUTH kept open house,
Nor left untasted
Aught of his high emprise and ventures dear,
No quest of his unshar'd --
All these, with loitering feet and sad head bar'd,
Followed their old friend's bier.
FOLLY went first, With muffled bells and coxcomb still revers'd; And after trod the bearers, hat in hand -- LAUGHTER, most hoarse, and Captain PRIDE with tanned And martial face all grim, and fussy JOY, Who had to catch a train, and LUST, poor, snivelling boy; These bore the dear departed.
Behind them, broken-hearted, Came GRIEF, so noisy a widow, that all said, "Had he but wed Her elder sister SORROW, in her stead!" And by her, trying to soothe her all the time, The fatherless children, COLOUR, TUNE, and RHYME (The sweet lad RHYME), ran all-uncomprehending.
Then, at the way's sad ending, Round the raw grave they stay'd.
Old WISDOM read, In mumbling tone, the Service for the Dead.
There stood ROMANCE, The furrowing tears had mark'd her rouged cheek; Poor old CONCEIT, his wonder unassuaged; Dead INNOCENCY's daughter, IGNORANCE; And shabby, ill-dress'd GENEROSITY; And ARGUMENT, too full of woe to speak; PASSION, grown portly, something middle-aged; And FRIENDSHIP -- not a minute older, she; IMPATIENCE, ever taking out his watch; FAITH, who was deaf, and had to lean, to catch Old WISDOM's endless drone.
BEAUTY was there, Pale in her black; dry-eyed; she stood alone.
Poor maz'd IMAGINATION; FANCY wild; ARDOUR, the sunlight on his greying hair; CONTENTMENT, who had known YOUTH as a child And never seen him since.
And SPRING came too, Dancing over the tombs, and brought him flowers -- She did not stay for long.
And TRUTH, and GRACE, and all the merry crew, The laughing WINDS and RIVERS, and lithe HOURS; And HOPE, the dewy-eyed; and sorrowing SONG; -- Yes, with much woe and mourning general, At dead YOUTH's funeral, Even these were met once more together, all, Who erst the fair and living YOUTH did know; All, except only LOVE.
LOVE had died long ago.

Written by Rupert Brooke |

Dining-Room Tea

 When you were there, and you, and you, 
Happiness crowned the night; I too, 
Laughing and looking, one of all, 
I watched the quivering lamplight fall 
On plate and flowers and pouring tea
And cup and cloth; and they and we 
Flung all the dancing moments by 
With jest and glitter.
Lip and eye Flashed on the glory, shone and cried, Improvident, unmemoried; And fitfully and like a flame The light of laughter went and came.
Proud in their careless transience moved The changing faces that I loved.
Till suddenly, and otherwhence, I looked upon your innocence.
For lifted clear and still and strange From the dark woven flow of change Under a vast and starless sky I saw the immortal moment lie.
One Instant I, an instant, knew As God knows all.
And it and you I, above Time, oh, blind! could see In witless immortality.
I saw the marble cup; the tea, Hung on the air, an amber stream; I saw the fire’s unglittering gleam, The painted flame, the frozen smoke.
No more the flooding lamplight broke On flying eyes and lips and hair; But lay, but slept unbroken there, On stiller flesh, and body breathless, And lips and laughter stayed and deathless, And words on which no silence grew.
Light was more alive than you.
For suddenly, and otherwhence, I looked on your magnificence.
I saw the stillness and the light, And you, august, immortal, white, Holy and strange; and every glint Posture and jest and thought and tint Freed from the mask of transiency, Triumphant in eternity, Immote, immortal.
Dazed at length Human eyes grew, mortal strength Wearied; and Time began to creep.
Change closed about me like a sleep.
Light glinted on the eyes I loved.
The cup was filled.
The bodies moved.
The drifting petal came to ground.
The laughter chimed its perfect round.
The broken syllable was ended.
And I, so certain and so friended, How could I cloud, or how distress, The heaven of your unconsciousness? Or shake at Time’s sufficient spell, Stammering of lights unutterable? The eternal holiness of you, The timeless end, you never knew, The peace that lay, the light that shone.
You never knew that I had gone A million miles away, and stayed A million years.
The laughter played Unbroken round me; and the jest Flashed on.
And we that knew the best Down wonderful hours grew happier yet.
I sang at heart, and talked, and eat, And lived from laugh to laugh, I too, When you were there, and you, and you.

Written by Rupert Brooke |

The Fish

 In a cool curving world he lies
And ripples with dark ecstasies.
The kind luxurious lapse and steal Shapes all his universe to feel And know and be; the clinging stream Closes his memory, glooms his dream, Who lips the roots o' the shore, and glides Superb on unreturning tides.
Those silent waters weave for him A fluctuant mutable world and dim, Where wavering masses bulge and gape Mysterious, and shape to shape Dies momently through whorl and hollow, And form and line and solid follow Solid and line and form to dream Fantastic down the eternal stream; An obscure world, a shifting world, Bulbous, or pulled to thin, or curled, Or serpentine, or driving arrows, Or serene slidings, or March narrows.
There slipping wave and shore are one, And weed and mud.
No ray of sun, But glow to glow fades down the deep (As dream to unknown dream in sleep); Shaken translucency illumes The hyaline of drifting glooms; The strange soft-handed depth subdues Drowned colour there, but black to hues, As death to living, decomposes— Red darkness of the heart of roses, Blue brilliant from dead starless skies, And gold that lies behind the eyes, The unknown unnameable sightless white That is the essential flame of night, Lustreless purple, hooded green, The myriad hues that lie between Darkness and darkness!.
And all's one, Gentle, embracing, quiet, dun, The world he rests in, world he knows, Perpetual curving.
Only—grows An eddy in that ordered falling, A knowledge from the gloom, a calling Weed in the wave, gleam in the mud— The dark fire leaps along his blood; Dateless and deathless, blind and still, The intricate impulse works its will; His woven world drops back; and he, Sans providence, sans memory, Unconscious and directly driven, Fades to some dark sufficient heaven.
O world of lips, O world of laughter, Where hope is fleet, and thought flies after, Of lights in the clear night, of cries That drift along the wave and rise Thin to the glittering stars above, You know the hands, the eyes of love! The strife of limbs, the sightless clinging, The infinite distance, and the singing Blown by the wind, a flame of sound, The gleam, the flowers, and vast around The horizon, and the heights above— You know the sigh, the long of love! But there the night is close, and there Darkness is cold and strange and bare; And the secret deeps are whisperless; And rhythm is all deliciousness; And joy is in the throbbing tide, Whose intricate fingers beat and glide In felt bewildering harmonies Of trembling touch; and music is The exquisite knocking of the blood.
Space is no more, under the mud; His bliss is older than the sun.
Silent and straight the waters run.
The lights, the cries, the willows dim, And the dark tide are one with him.

Written by Rupert Brooke |


 Heart, you are restless as a paper scrap
That's tossed down dusty pavements by the wind;
Saying, "She is most wise, patient and kind.
Between the small hands folded in her lap Surely a shamed head may bow down at length, And find forgiveness where the shadows stir About her lips, and wisdom in her strength, Peace in her peace.
Come to her, come to her!" .
She will not care.
She'll smile to see me come, So that I think all Heaven in flower to fold me.
She'll give me all I ask, kiss me and hold me, And open wide upon that holy air The gates of peace, and take my tiredness home, Kinder than God.
But, heart, she will not care.

Written by Rupert Brooke |

Mary and Gabriel

 Young Mary, loitering once her garden way,
Felt a warm splendour grow in the April day,
As wine that blushes water through.
And soon, Out of the gold air of the afternoon, One knelt before her: hair he had, or fire, Bound back above his ears with golden wire, Baring the eager marble of his face.
Not man's nor woman's was the immortal grace Rounding the limbs beneath that robe of white, And lighting the proud eyes with changeless light, Incurious.
Calm as his wings, and fair, That presence filled the garden.
She stood there, Saying, "What would you, Sir?" He told his word, "Blessed art thou of women!" Half she heard, Hands folded and face bowed, half long had known, The message of that clear and holy tone, That fluttered hot sweet sobs about her heart; Such serene tidings moved such human smart.
Her breath came quick as little flakes of snow.
Her hands crept up her breast.
She did but know It was not hers.
She felt a trembling stir Within her body, a will too strong for her That held and filled and mastered all.
With eyes Closed, and a thousand soft short broken sighs, She gave submission; fearful, meek, and glad.
She wished to speak.
Under her breasts she had Such multitudinous burnings, to and fro, And throbs not understood; she did not know If they were hurt or joy for her; but only That she was grown strange to herself, half lonely, All wonderful, filled full of pains to come And thoughts she dare not think, swift thoughts and dumb, Human, and quaint, her own, yet very far, Divine, dear, terrible, familiar .
Her heart was faint for telling; to relate Her limbs' sweet treachery, her strange high estate, Over and over, whispering, half revealing, Weeping; and so find kindness to her healing.
'Twixt tears and laughter, panic hurrying her, She raised her eyes to that fair messenger.
He knelt unmoved, immortal; with his eyes Gazing beyond her, calm to the calm skies; Radiant, untroubled in his wisdom, kind.
His sheaf of lilies stirred not in the wind.
How should she, pitiful with mortality, Try the wide peace of that felicity With ripples of her perplexed shaken heart, And hints of human ecstasy, human smart, And whispers of the lonely weight she bore, And how her womb within was hers no more And at length hers? Being tired, she bowed her head; And said, "So be it!" The great wings were spread Showering glory on the fields, and fire.
The whole air, singing, bore him up, and higher, Unswerving, unreluctant.
Soon he shone A gold speck in the gold skies; then was gone.
The air was colder, and grey.
She stood alone.

Written by Rupert Brooke |

The Treasure

 When colour goes home into the eyes,
And lights that shine are shut again,
With dancing girls and sweet birds' cries
Behind the gateways of the brain;
And that no-place which gave them birth, shall close
The rainbow and the rose:— 

Still may Time hold some golden space
Where I'll unpack that scented store
Of song and flower and sky and face,
And count, and touch, and turn them o'er,
Musing upon them: as a mother, who
Has watched her children all the rich day through,
Sits, quiet-handed, in the fading light,
When children sleep, ere night.

Written by Rupert Brooke |

One Day

 Today I have been happy.
All the day I held the memory of you, and wove Its laughter with the dancing light o' the spray, And sowed the sky with tiny clouds of love, And sent you following the white waves of sea, And crowned your head with fancies, nothing worth, Stray buds from that old dust of misery, Being glad with a new foolish quiet mirth.
So lightly I played with those dark memories, Just as a child, beneath the summer skies, Plays hour by hour with a strange shining stone, For which (he knows not) towns were fire of old, And love has been betrayed, and murder done, And great kings turned to a little bitter mould.