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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Rupert Brooke RNVR


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Died this day 1915 aboard the French hospital ship Duguay-Trouin, of septicaemia.


War sonnet V it has to be.


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.

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When I first read his work at school (Late 70s) I thought it gushingly pitiful especially when compared to Owen and the like.  Of course that was unfair as Brooke did not live to witness the horrors which were to come.  I wonder, had he lived, whether his tone and thinking behind the verse would have changed?  He was clearly talented as a poet and saw his world from a particular point of view, what could have been?  We'll never know.





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We have gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever,

War knows no power. Safe shall be my going,

Secretly armed against all death's endeavour;

Safe though all safety's lost; safe where men fall; 

And if these poor limbs die, safest of all.



Remembered with respect

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