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The Soldier (Poem)

From the Lonsdale Battalion wiki

The Soldier is a poem written by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915). Rupert went to Kings College, Cambridge, travelled the world, gathered a circle of eminent friends (Virginia Woolf, E M Forster, Bertrand Russell and Augustus John to name a few), and wrote poetry. He became famous Posthumously.

With the outbreak of the First World War Brooke joined the services and eventually found himself in Dorset at Blandford Camp. In February 1915 Sub-lieutenant Brooke’s battalion (Hood Battalion) boarded a troopship bound for Gallipoli. Brooke did not complete the journey. He became ill and, at the age of twenty seven, on 23rd April 1915, died from septicaemia. He was buried on the Greek island of Skyros, in an olive grove, the poignancy of his poem 'The Soldier' is reflected in his final resting place.

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever 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 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.
Rupert Brooke, Source unknown

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