Breathless, we flung us on the windy hill,
Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.
You said, "Though glory and ecstasy we pass;
Wind, sun and earth remain, the birds sing still,
When we are old, are old...." And when we die
All's over that is ours; and life burns on
Through other lovers, other lips," said I,
-- "Heart of my heart, our heaven is now, is won."
"We are earth's best, that learnt her lesson here.
Life is our cry. We have kept the faith!" we said;
"We shall go down with unreluctant tread
Rose-crowned into the darkness!" ... Proud we were,
And laughed, that had such brave true things to say.
-- And then suddenly you cried, and turned away.
Welcome back to Tuesday Poem after our summer break. This poem is one of my favourite in the world - with that first line - we too are breathless and flung. The brave language. The stuff of youth. The realisation that it ends and perhaps too soon ... added to by our knowing Brooke himself died young during WWI.
I am near the end of Pat Barker's novel Toby's Room and have Harry Rickett's Strange Meetings lined up after that. Both about WWI soldiers/poets/artists. A coincidence, the two books - but I am well and truly submerged in this sad, aching, brave, terrible world.
Please do take a minute to go to the Tuesday Poem hub to read a poem by David Howard and the questions a group of poets pose him. Wonderful post by Claire Beynon, my TP co-curator, whose enthusiasm for poetry and art and life leaves me breathless. Read on!