17+ Best Rupert Brooke Poems You Need To Read

Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially “The Soldier”. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which were said to have prompted the Irish poet W. B. Yeats to describe him as “the handsomest young man in England”.

If you’re searching for famous poems ever that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of best known Edward Estlin Cummings poems, most famous Hilaire Belloc poems, and selected Allama Muhammad Iqbal poems.

Famous Rupert Brooke Poems

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.

Mutability

They say there’s a high windless world and strange,
Out of the wash of days and temporal tide,
Where Faith and Good, Wisdom and Truth abide,
`Aeterna corpora’, subject to no change.
There the sure suns of these pale shadows move;
There stand the immortal ensigns of our war;
Our melting flesh fixed Beauty there, a star,
And perishing hearts, imperishable Love. . . .

Dear, we know only that we sigh, kiss, smile;
Each kiss lasts but the kissing; and grief goes over;
Love has no habitation but the heart.
Poor straws! on the dark flood we catch awhile,
Cling, and are borne into the night apart.
The laugh dies with the lips, `Love’ with the lover.

The Hill

Breathless, we flung us on the windy hill,
Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.
You said, “Through glory and ecstasy we pass;
Wind, sun, and earth remain, the birds sing still,
When we are old, are old.…” “And when we die
All’s over that is ours; and life burns on
Through other lovers, other lips,” said I,
—“Heart of my heart, our heaven is now, is won!”

“We are Earth’s best, that learnt her lesson here.
Life is our cry. We have kept the faith!” we said;
“We shall go down with unreluctant tread
Rose-crowned into the darkness!”… Proud we were,
And laughed, that had such brave true things to say.
—And then you suddenly cried, and turned away.

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.

The Charm

In darkness the loud sea makes moan;
And earth is shaken, and all evils creep
About her ways.
Oh, now to know you sleep!
Out of the whirling blinding moil, alone,
Out of the slow grim fight,
One thought to wing — to you, asleep,
In some cool room that’s open to the night
Lying half-forward, breathing quietly,
One white hand on the white
Unrumpled sheet, and the ever-moving hair
Quiet and still at length! . . .

Your magic and your beauty and your strength,
Like hills at noon or sunlight on a tree,
Sleeping prevail in earth and air.

In the sweet gloom above the brown and white
Night benedictions hover; and the winds of night
Move gently round the room, and watch you there.
And through the dreadful hours
The trees and waters and the hills have kept
The sacred vigil while you slept,
And lay a way of dew and flowers
Where your feet, your morning feet, shall tread.

And still the darkness ebbs about your bed.
Quiet, and strange, and loving-kind, you sleep.
And holy joy about the earth is shed;
And holiness upon the deep.

The Dead

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.
Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And Nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.

Treasure, The

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.

Wagner

Creeps in half wanton, half asleep,
One with a fat wide hairless face.
He likes love-music that is cheap;
Likes women in a crowded place;
And wants to hear the noise they’re making.

His heavy eyelids droop half-over,
Great pouches swing beneath his eyes.
He listens, thinks himself the lover,
Heaves from his stomach wheezy sighs;
He likes to feel his heart’s a-breaking.

The music swells. His gross legs quiver.
His little lips are bright with slime.
The music swells. The women shiver.
And all the while, in perfect time,
His pendulous stomach hangs a-shaking.

Voice, The

Safe in the magic of my woods
I lay, and watched the dying light.
Faint in the pale high solitudes,
And washed with rain and veiled by night,

Silver and blue and green were showing.
And the dark woods grew darker still;
And birds were hushed; and peace was growing;
And quietness crept up the hill;

And no wind was blowing

And I knew
That this was the hour of knowing,
And the night and the woods and you
Were one together, and I should find
Soon in the silence the hidden key
Of all that had hurt and puzzled me —
Why you were you, and the night was kind,
And the woods were part of the heart of me.

And there I waited breathlessly,
Alone; and slowly the holy three,
The three that I loved, together grew
One, in the hour of knowing,
Night, and the woods, and you —-

And suddenly
There was an uproar in my woods,

The noise of a fool in mock distress,
Crashing and laughing and blindly going,
Of ignorant feet and a swishing dress,
And a Voice profaning the solitudes.

The spell was broken, the key denied me
And at length your flat clear voice beside me
Mouthed cheerful clear flat platitudes.

You came and quacked beside me in the wood.
You said, “The view from here is very good!”
You said, “It’s nice to be alone a bit!”
And, “How the days are drawing out!” you said.
You said, “The sunset’s pretty, isn’t it?”


By God! I wish — I wish that you were dead!

The Beginning

Some day I shall rise and leave my friends
And seek you again through the world’s far ends,
You whom I found so fair
(Touch of your hands and smell of your hair!),
My only god in the days that were.
My eager feet shall find you again,
Though the sullen years and the mark of pain
Have changed you wholly; for I shall know
(How could I forget having loved you so?),
In the sad half-light of evening,
The face that was all my sunrising.
So then at the ends of the earth I’ll stand
And hold you fiercely be either hand,
And seeing your age and ashen hair
I’ll curse the thing that once you were,
Because it is changed and pale and old
(Lips that were scarlet, hair that was gold!),
And I loved you before you were old and wise,
When the flame of youth was strong in your eyes,
—And my heart is sick with memories.

In Examination

Lo! from quiet skies
In through the window my Lord the Sun!
And my eyes
Were dazzled and drunk with the misty gold,
The golden glory that drowned and crowned me
Eddied and swayed through the room . . .
Around me,
To left and to right,
Hunched figures and old,
Dull blear-eyed scribbling fools, grew fair,
Ringed round and haloed with holy light.
Flame lit on their hair,
And their burning eyes grew young and wise,
Each as a God, or King of kings,
White-robed and bright
(Still scribbling all);
And a full tumultuous murmur of wings
Grew through the hall;
And I knew the white undying Fire,
And, through open portals,
Gyre on gyre,
Archangels and angels, adoring, bowing,
And a Face unshaded . . .
Till the light faded;
And they were but fools again, fools unknowing,
Still scribbling, blear-eyed and stolid immortals.

The One Before The Last

I dreamt I was in love again
With the One Before the Last,
And smiled to greet the pleasant pain
Of that innocent young past.

But I jumped to feel how sharp had been
The pain when it did live,
How the faded dreams of Nineteen-ten
Were Hell in Nineteen-five.

The boy’s woe was as keen and clear,
The boy’s love just as true,
And the One Before the Last, my dear,
Hurt quite as much as you.

Sickly I pondered how the lover
Wrongs the unanswering tomb,
And sentimentalizes over
What earned a better doom.

Gently he tombs the poor dim last time,
Strews pinkish dust above,
And sighs, “The dear dead boyish pastime!
But this—ah, God!—is Love!”

—Better oblivion hide dead true loves,
Better the night enfold,
Than men, to eke the praise of new loves,
Should lie about the old!

Oh! bitter thoughts I had in plenty.
But here’s the worst of it—
I shall forget, in Nineteen-twenty,
You ever hurt a bit!

The Jolly Company

The stars, a jolly company,
I envied, straying late and lonely;
And cried upon their revelry:
“O white companionship! You only
In love, in faith unbroken dwell,
Friends radiant and inseparable!”

Light-heart and glad they seemed to me
And merry comrades (EVEN SO
GOD OUT OF HEAVEN MAY LAUGH TO SEE
THE HAPPY CROWDS; AND NEVER KNOW
THAT IN HIS LONE OBSCURE DISTRESS
EACH WALKETH IN A WILDERNESS).

But I, remembering, pitied well
And loved them, who, with lonely light,
In empty infinite spaces dwell,
Disconsolate. For, all the night,
I heard the thin gnat-voices cry,
Star to faint star, across the sky.

Iv. The Dead

These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.

Jolly Company, The

The stars, a jolly company,
I envied, straying late and lonely;
And cried upon their revelry:
“O white companionship! You only
In love, in faith unbroken dwell,
Friends radiant and inseparable!”

Light-heart and glad they seemed to me
And merry comrades (EVEN SO
GOD OUT OF HEAVEN MAY LAUGH TO SEE
THE HAPPY CROWDS; AND NEVER KNOW
THAT IN HIS LONE OBSCURE DISTRESS
EACH WALKETH IN A WILDERNESS).

But I, remembering, pitied well
And loved them, who, with lonely light,
In empty infinite spaces dwell,
Disconsolate. For, all the night,
I heard the thin gnat-voices cry,
Star to faint star, across the sky.

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!

The Song Of The Pilgrims

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.

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