One Before the Last, The

Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially "The Soldier".






I dreamt I was in love again
 With the One Before the Last,
And smiled to greet the pleasant pain
 Of that innocent young past.

But I jumped to feel how sharp had been
 The pain when it did live,
How the faded dreams of Nineteen-ten
 Were Hell in Nineteen-five.

The boy's woe was as keen and clear,
 The boy's love just as true,
And the One Before the Last, my dear,
 Hurt quite as much as you.

  * * * * *

Sickly I pondered how the lover
 Wrongs the unanswering tomb,
And sentimentalizes over
 What earned a better doom.

Gently he tombs the poor dim last time,
 Strews pinkish dust above,
And sighs, "The dear dead boyish pastime!
 But THIS -- ah, God! -- is Love!"

-- Better oblivion hide dead true loves,
 Better the night enfold,
Than men, to eke the praise of new loves,
 Should lie about the old!

  * * * * *

Oh! bitter thoughts I had in plenty.
 But here's the worst of it --
I shall forget, in Nineteen-twenty,
 YOU ever hurt abit!

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