The Soldier

From LitWiki
Poetry Index » By: Rupert Brooke (1915)

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.[1] There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, 5
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 10
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.

Notes and Commentary

  1. Brooke died of dysentery on a ship bound for Callipoli shortly after enlisting in the Royal Navy. He is buried on the Greek island of Skyros (Abrams 1986, p. 1892).

Work Cited

  • Abrams, M. H., ed. (1986). The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 2 (Fifth ed.). New York: W. W. Norton.