by Rupert Brooke
English poet. His two best-known poems are The Old Vicarage, Grantchester (1912), published in Georgian Poetry 1911-1912 by his friend, Edward Marsh, and The Soldier (1914), a war-inspired sonnet. Other fine poems he wrote include Retrospect (1913) and Tiare Tahiti (1913). He also wrote a one-act play, Lithuania (1915), and Letters from America, for which Henry James wrote a preface in 1916. As a war poet, his work is more idealistic than those of other war poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.
by Rupert Brooke
Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! -Death eddies near -
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time,
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.