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Nov 2015
Tiare Tahiti

MAMUA, when our laughter ends,
And hearts and bodies, brown as white,
Are dust about the doors of friends,
Or scent ablowing down the night,
Then, oh! then, the wise agree,
Comes our immortality.
Mamua, there waits a land
Hard for us to understand.
Out of time, beyond the sun,
All are one in Paradise,
You and Pupure are one,
And Tau, and the ungainly wise.
There the Eternals are, and there
The Good, the Lovely, and the True,
And Types, whose earthly copies were
The foolish broken things we knew;
There is the Face, whose ghosts we are;
The real, the never-setting Star;
And the Flower, of which we love
Faint and fading shadows here;
Never a tear, but only Grief;
Dance, but not the limbs that move;
Songs in Song shall disappear;
Instead of lovers, Love shall be;
For hearts, Immutability;
And there, on the Ideal Reef,
Thunders the Everlasting Sea!
And my laughter, and my pain,
Shall home to the Eternal Brain.
And all lovely things, they say,
Meet in Loveliness again;
Miri's laugh, Teipo's feet,
And the hands of Matua,
Stars and sunlight there shall meet,
Coral's hues and rainbows there,
And Teura's braided hair;
And with the starred 'tiare's' white,
And white birds in the dark ravine,
And 'flamboyants' ablaze at night,
And jewels, and evening's after-green,
And dawns of pearl and gold and red,
Mamua, your lovelier head!
And there'll no more be one who dreams
Under the ferns, of crumbling stuff,
Eyes of illusion, mouth that seems,
All time-entangled human love.
And you'll no longer swing and sway
Divinely down the scented shade,
Where feet to Ambulation fade,
And moons are lost in endless Day.
How shall we wind these wreaths of ours,
Where there are neither heads nor flowers?
Oh, Heaven's Heaven! -- - but we'll be missing
The palms, and sunlight, and the south;
And there's an end, I think, of kissing,
When our mouths are one with Mouth. . . .
'Tau here', Mamua,
Crown the hair, and come away!
Hear the calling of the moon,
And the whispering scents that stray
About the idle warm lagoon.
Hasten, hand in human hand,
Down the dark, the flowered way,
Along the whiteness of the sand,
And in the water's soft caress,
Wash the mind of foolishness,
Mamua, until the day.
Spend the glittering moonlight there
Pursuing down the soundless deep
Limbs that gleam and shadowy hair,
Or floating lazy, half-asleep.
Dive and double and follow after,
Snare in flowers, and kiss, and call,
With lips that fade, and human laughter
And faces individual,
Well this side of Paradise! . . .
There's little comfort in the wise.

Rupert Brooke, Papeete, February 1914

. The Great Lover

I HAVE been so great a lover: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of Love's praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and still content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair,
For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear
Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife
Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far,
My night shall be remembered for a star
That outshone all the suns of all men's days.
Shall I not crown them with immortal praise
Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me
High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see
The inenarrable godhead of delight?
Love is a flame; -- - we have beaconed the world's night.
A city: -- - and we have built it, these and I.
An emperor: -- - we have taught the world to die.
So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence,
And the high cause of Love's magnificence,
And to keep loyalties young, I'll write those names
Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames,
And set them as a banner, that men may know,
To dare the generations, burn, and blow
Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming. . . .
These I have loved:
                            White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, færy dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such -- -
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year's ferns. . . .
                            Dear names,
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water's dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the ground; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body's pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass; -- -
All these have been my loves. And these shall pass,
Whatever passes not, in the great hour,
Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power
To hold them with me through the gate of Death.
They'll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath,
Break the high bond we made, and sell Love's trust
And sacramented covenant to the dust.
---- Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake,
And give what's left of love again, and make
New friends, now strangers. . . .
                            But the best I've known,
Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown
About the winds of the world, and fades from brains
Of living men, and dies.
                            Nothing remains.
O dear my loves, O faithless, once again
This one last gift I give: that after men
Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed,
Praise you, "All these were lovely"; say, "He loved."

Rupert Brooke, Mataiea, 1914

. Heaven

FISH (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! -- - Death eddies near -- -
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.

. There's Wisdom in Women

"OH LOVE is fair, and love is rare;" my dear one she said,
"But love goes lightly over." I bowed her foolish head,
And kissed her hair and laughed at her. Such a child was she;
So new to love, so true to love, and she spoke so bitterly.
But there's wisdom in women, of more than they have known,
And thoughts go blowing through them, are wiser than their own,
Or how should my dear one, being ignorant and young,
Have cried on love so bitterly, with so true a tongue?

. A Memory (From a sonnet-sequence)

SOMEWHILE before the dawn I rose, and stept
Softly along the dim way to your room,
And found you sleeping in the quiet gloom,
And holiness about you as you slept.
I knelt there; till your waking fingers crept
About my head, and held it. I had rest
Unhoped this side of Heaven, beneath your breast.
I knelt a long time, still; nor even wept.
It was great wrong you did me; and for gain
Of that poor moment's kindliness, and ease,
And sleepy mother-comfort!
                            Child, you know
How easily love leaps out to dreams like these,
Who has seen them true. And love that's wakened so
Takes all too long to lay asleep again.

Rupert Brooke, Waikiki, October 1913

. One Day

TODAY I have been happy. All the day
I held the memory of you, and wove
Its laughter with the dancing light o' the spray,
And sowed the sky with tiny clouds of love,
And sent you following the white waves of sea,
And crowned your head with fancies, nothing worth,
Stray buds from that old dust of misery,
Being glad with a new foolish quiet mirth.
So lightly I played with those dark memories,
Just as a child, beneath the summer skies,
Plays hour by hour with a strange shining stone,
For which (he knows not) towns were fire of old,
And love has been betrayed, and ****** done,
And great kings turned to a little bitter mould.

Rupert Brooke, The Pacific, October 1913

. Waikiki

WARM perfumes like a breath from vine and tree
      Drift down the darkness. Plangent, hidden from eyes
      Somewhere an 'eukaleli' thrills and cries
And stabs with pain the night's brown savagery.
And dark scents whisper; and dim waves creep to me,
      Gleam like a woman's hair, stretch out, and rise;
      And new stars burn into the ancient skies,
Over the murmurous soft Hawaian sea.
And I recall, lose, grasp, forget again,
      And still remember, a tale I have heard, or known,
An empty tale, of idleness and pain,
      Of two that loved -- - or did not love -- - and one
Whose perplexed heart did evil, foolishly,
A long while since, and by some other sea.

Rupert Brooke, Waikiki, 1913


The Busy Heart

NOW that we've done our best and worst, and parted,
      I would fill my mind with thoughts that will not rend.
(O heart, I do not dare go empty-hearted)
      I'll think of Love in books, Love without end;
Women with child, content; and old men sleeping;
      And wet strong ploughlands, scarred for certain grain;
And babes that weep, and so forget their weeping;
      And the young heavens, forgetful after rain;
And evening hush, broken by homing wings;
      And Song's nobility, and Wisdom holy,
That live, we dead. I would think of a thousand things,
      Lovely and durable, and taste them slowly,
One after one, like tasting a sweet food.
I have need to busy my heart with quietude.

. Love

LOVE is a breach in the walls, a broken gate,
      Where that comes in that shall not go again;
Love sells the proud heart's citadel to Fate.
      They have known shame, who love unloved. Even then,
When two mouths, thirsty each for each, find slaking,
      And agony's forgot, and hushed the crying
Of credulous hearts, in heaven -- - such are but taking
      Their own poor dreams within their arms, and lying
Each in his lonely night, each with a ghost.
      Some share that night. But they know love grows colder,
Grows false and dull, that was sweet lies at most.
      Astonishment is no more in hand or shoulder,
But darkens, and dies out from kiss to kiss.
All this is love; and all love is but this.

. Unfortunate

HEART, you are restless as a paper scrap
      That's tossed down dusty pavements by the wind;
      Saying, "She is most wise, patient and kind.
Between the small hands folded in her lap
Surely a shamed head may bow down at length,
      And find forgiveness where the shadows stir
About her lips, and wisdom in her strength,
      Peace in her peace. Come to her, come to her!" . . .
She will not care. She'll smile to see me come,
      So that I think all Heaven in flower to fold me.
      She'll give me all I ask, kiss me and hold me,
           And open wide upon that holy air
The gates of peace, and take my tiredness home,
           Kinder than God. But, heart, she will not care.

. The Chilterns

YOUR hands, my dear, adorable,
      Your lips of tenderness
-- Oh, I've loved you faithfully and well,
      Three years, or a bit less.
      It wasn't a success.
Thank God, that's done! and I'll take the road,
      Quit of my youth and you,
The Roman road to Wendover
      By Tring and Lilley Hoo,
      As a free man may do.
For youth goes over, the joys that fly,
      The tears that follow fast;
And the dirtiest things we do must lie
      Forgotten at the last;
      Even Love goes past.
What's left behind I shall not find,
      The splendour and the pain;
The splash of sun, the shouting wind,
      And the brave sting of rain,
      I may not meet again.
But the years, that take the best away,
      Give something in the end;
And a better friend than love have they,
      For none to mar or mend,
      That have themselves to friend.
I shall desire and I shall find
      The best of my desires;
The autumn road, the mellow wind
      That soothes the darkening shires.
      And laughter, and inn-fires.
White mist about the black hedgerows,
      The slumbering Midland plain,
The silence where the clover grows,
      And the dead leaves in the lane,
      Certainly, these remain.
And I shall find some girl perhaps,
      And a better one than you,
With eyes as wise, but kindlier,
      And lips as soft, but true.
      And I daresay she will do.

. Home

I CAME back late and tired last night
      Into my little room,
To the long chair and the firelight
      And comfortable gloom.
But as I entered softly in
      I saw a woman there,
The line of neck and cheek and chin,
      The darkness of her hair,
The form of one I did not know
      Sitting in my chair.
I stood a moment fierce and still,
      Watching her neck and hair.
I made a step to her; and saw
      That there was no one there.
It was some trick of the firelight
      That made me see her there.
It was a chance of shade and light
      And the cushion in the chair.
Oh, all you happy over the earth,
      That night, how could I sleep?
I lay and watched the lonely gloom;
      And watched the moonlight creep
From wall to basin, round the room,
      All night I could not sleep.

. Beauty and Beauty

WHEN Beauty and Beauty meet
      All naked, fair to fair,
The earth is crying-sweet,
      And scattering-bright the air,
Eddying, dizzying, closing round,
      With soft and drunken laughter;
Veiling all that may befall
      After -- - after -- -
Where Beauty and Beauty met,
      Earth's still a-tremble there,
And winds are scented yet,
      And memory-soft the air,
Bosoming, folding glints of light,
      And shreds of shadowy laughter;
Not the tears that fill the years
      After -- - after -- -

. The Way That Lovers Use

THE way that lovers use is this;
      They bow, catch hands, with never a word,
And their lips meet, and they do kiss,
      -- - So I have heard.
They queerly find some healing so,
      And strange attainment in the touch;
There is a secret lovers know,
      -- - I have read as much.
And theirs no longer joy nor smart,
      Changing or ending, night or day;
But mouth to mouth, and heart on heart,
      -- - So lovers say.

1908 - 1911

Sonnet: "Oh! Death will find me, long before I tire"

OH! DEATH will find me, long before I tire
Of watching you; and swing me suddenly
Into the shade and loneliness and mire
Of the last land! There, waiting patiently,
One day, I think, I'll feel a cool wind blowing,
See a slow light across the Stygian tide,
And hear the Dead about me stir, unknowing,
And tremble. And I shall know that you have died,
And watch you, a broad-browed and smiling dream,
Pass, light as ever, through the lightless host,
Quietly ponder, start, and sway, and gleam -- -
Most individual and bewildering ghost! -- -
And turn, and toss your brown delightful head
Amusedly, among the ancient Dead.

. Sonnet: "I said I splendidly loved you; it's not true"

I SAID I splendidly loved you; it's not true.
Such long swift tides stir not a land-locked sea.
On gods or fools the high risk falls -- - on you -- -
The clean clear bitter-sweet that's not for me.
Love soars from earth to ecstasies unwist.
Love is flung Lucifer-like from Heaven to Hell.
But -- - there are wanderers in the middle mist,
Who cry for sh
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