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Rupert Chawner Brooke (Руперт Брук)

* * *

Sometimes even now I may
Steal a prisoner's holiday,
Slip, when all is worst, the bands,
   Hurry back, and duck beneath
Time's old tyrannous groping hands,
   Speed away with laughing breath
Back to all I'll never know,
Back to you, a year ago.

Truant there, from Time and Pain,
What I had, I find again:
Sunlight in the boughs above,
   Sunlight in your hair and dress,
The Hands too proud for all but Love,
   The Lips of utter kindliness,
The Heart of bravery swift and clean
   Where the best was safe, I knew,
And laughter in the gold and green,
   And song, and friends, and ever you
With smiling and familiar eyes,
   You--but friendly: you--but true.

And Innocence accounted wise,
   And Faith the fool, the pitiable,
Love so rare, one would swear
   All of earth for ever well--
Careless lips and flying hair,
   And little things I may not tell.

It does but double the heart-ache
When I wake, when I wake.

1912 (?)

Rupert Chawner Brooke's other poems:
  1. Lines Written in the Belief That the Ancient Roman Festival of the Dead Was Called Ambarvalia
  2. Fafaia
  3. The One Before the Last
  4. Sonnet: in Time of Revolt
  5. The Dead (These hearts were woven of human joys and cares)

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