With Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day coming up, this week’s Featured Poem is a commemorative choice. Though written leading up to the First World War, The Soldier stands to represent all of the fallen soldiers lost of conflicts since, with Rupert Brooke himself viewed as an eternal symbol of the tragic young losses of war.
This poem is featured On Active Service, The Reader’s anthology of poetry from World War I poets, compiled by Brian Nellist.
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever 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 the suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.