Rupert Brooke

Dead Men's Love

Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially "The Soldier".

There was a damned successful Poet;
 There was a Woman like the Sun.
And they were dead. They did not know it.
 They did not know their time was done.
  They did not know his hymns
  Were silence; and her limbs,
  That had served Love so well,
  Dust, and a filthy smell.

And so one day, as ever of old,
 Hands out, they hurried, knee to knee;
On fire to cling and kiss and hold
 And, in the other's eyes, to see
  Each his own tiny face,
  And in that long embrace
  Feel lip and breast grow warm
  To breast and lip and arm.

So knee to knee they sped again,
 And laugh to laugh they ran, I'm told,
Across the streets of Hell . . .
  And then
 They suddenly felt the wind blow cold,
  And knew, so closely pressed,
  Chill air on lip and breast,
  And, with a sick surprise,
  The emptiness of eyes.