Fragment

By Rupert Brooke 1887–1915 Rupert Brooke
I strayed about the deck, an hour, to-night
Under a cloudy moonless sky; and peeped
In at the windows, watched my friends at table,
Or playing cards, or standing in the doorway,
Or coming out into the darkness. Still
No one could see me.
 
                                          I would have thought of them
—Heedless, within a week of battle—in pity,
Pride in their strength and in the weight and firmness
And link’d beauty of bodies, and pity that
This gay machine of splendour ’ld soon be broken,
Thought little of, pashed, scattered. …
 
                                                                        Only, always,
I could but see them—against the lamplight—pass
Like coloured shadows, thinner than filmy glass,
Slight bubbles, fainter than the wave’s faint light,
That broke to phosphorus out in the night,
Perishing things and strange ghosts—soon to die
To other ghosts—this one, or that, or I.

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Poet Rupert Brooke 1887–1915

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Subjects Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism

Poetic Terms Elegy, Rhymed Stanza

 Rupert  Brooke

Biography

Few writers have provoked as much excessive praise and scornful condemnation as English poet Rupert Brooke. Handsome, charming, and talented, Brooke was a national hero even before his death in 1915 at the age of twenty-seven. His poetry, with its unabashed patriotism and graceful lyricism, was revered in a country that was yet to feel the devastating effects of two world wars. Brooke's early death only solidified his image as . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Poetic Terms Elegy, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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