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The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke

The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke
1905-1908
Second Best
Here in the dark, O heart;
Alone with the enduring Earth, and Night,
And Silence, and the warm strange smell of clover;
Clear-visioned, though it break you; far apart
From the dead best, the dear and old delight;
Throw down your dreams of immortality,
O faithful, O foolish lover!
Here's peace for you, and surety; here the one
Wisdom -- the truth! -- "All day the good glad sun
Showers love and labour on you, wine and song;
The greenwood laughs, the wind blows, all day long
Till night." And night ends all things.
Then shall be
No lamp relumed in heaven, no voices crying,
Or changing lights, or dreams and forms that hover!
(And, heart, for all your sighing,
That gladness and those tears are over, over. . . .)
And has the truth brought no new hope at all,
Heart, that you're weeping yet for Paradise?
Do they still whisper, the old weary cries?
"'MID YOUTH AND SONG, FEASTING AND CARNIVAL,
THROUGH LAUGHTER, THROUGH THE ROSES, AS OF OLD
COMES DEATH, ON SHADOWY AND RELENTLESS FEET,
DEATH, UNAPPEASABLE BY PRAYER OR GOLD;
DEATH IS THE END, THE END!"
 
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