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Short poem

Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

1914 I. Peace

              1Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour
              2    And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
              3With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
              4    To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
              5Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
              6    Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
              7And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
              8    And all the little emptiness of love!

              9Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
            10    Where there's no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
            11        Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
            12Nothing to shake the laughing heart's long peace there
            13    But only agony, and that has ending;
            14        And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Rupert Brooke, "1914" Five Sonnets (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1915). PR 6003 R4N5 1915b Robarts Library. See also Rupert Brooke, 1914 & Other Poems (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1915): 11. PR 6003 R4N5 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1915
Publication date note: New Numbers (1915)
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1999.
Recent editing: 2:2001/11/15

Composition date: 1914
Form: sonnet
Rhyme: ababcdcdefgefg

Other poems by Rupert Brooke