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By Rupert Brooke

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.


Poetry Out Loud Note: This poem has had two titles: “The Soldier” and “Nineteen-Fourteen: The Soldier”. The student may give either title during the recitation.



 

Source: Poetry

Poet Bio

When Rupert Brooke died at the age of 27, he was immortalized as a charismatic poet whom W.B. Yeats called “the handsomest young man in England,” and as a symbol of what would be known as the “Lost Generation.” His patriotic poetry strengthened support for World War I, although he did not see much combat.

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