Retrospect - a poem by Rupert Brooke


In your arms was still delight, 
Quiet as a street at night; 
And thoughts of you, I do remember, 
Were green leaves in a darkened chamber, 
Were dark clouds in a moonless sky. 
Love, in you, went passing by, 
Penetrative, remote, and rare, 
Like a bird in the wide air; 
And, as the bird, it left no trace 
In the heaven of your face. 
In your stupidity I found 
The sweet hush after a sweet sound. 
All about you was the light 
That dims the graying end of night; 
Desire was the unrisen sun, 
Joy the day not yet begun, 
With tree whispering to tree, 
Without wind, quietly. 
Wisdom slept within your hair, 
And Long-suffering was there, 
And, in the flowing of your dress, 
Undiscerning Tenderness. 
And when you thought, it seemed to me, 
Infinitely, and like a sea, 
About the sleight world you had known 
Your vast unconsciousness was thrown. . . . 

O haven without wave or tide! 
Silence, in which all songs have died! 
Holy book, where all hearts are still! 
And home at length, under the hill! 
O mother quiet, breasts of peace, 
Where love itself would faint and cease! 
O infinite deep I never knew, 
I would come back, come back to you; 
Find you, as a pool unstirred, 
Kneel down by you, and never a word; 
Lay my head, and nothing said, 
In your hands, ungarlanded. 
And a long watch you would keep; 
And I should sleep, and I should sleep!

Retrospect - a poem by Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

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