Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our
youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour
could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
the little emptiness of love!
Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost
Nothing to shake the laughing heart's long peace there
only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but
Dear! of all happy in the hour, most blest
He who has found our hid
Assured in the dark tides of the world at rest,
And heard our
word, "Who is so safe as we?"
We have found safety with all things undying,
The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,
The deep night, and
birds singing, and clouds flying,
And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal
We have built a house that is not for Time's throwing.
gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever.
War knows no power. Safe shall be
Secretly armed against all death's endeavour;
Safe though all
safety's lost; safe where men fall;
And if these poor limbs die, safest of
III. The Dead
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely
and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the
years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age;
and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.
Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
Holiness, lacked so
long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.
IV. The Dead
These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with
sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and
heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and
cheeks. All this is ended.
There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich
skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered
A width, a shining peace, under the night.
V. The Soldier
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a
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,
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
For more information on Rupert Brooke see "... the rest is silence" - Lost Poets of the Great War.