Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Earth fades in flame before his wings

Rupert Brooke

“Oh! Love,” they said, “is King of Kings,
And Triumph is his crown.
Earth fades in flame before his wings,
And Sun and Moon bow down.”—
But that, I knew, would never do;
And Heaven is all too high.
So whenever I meet a Queen, I said,
I will not catch her eye.

“Oh! Love,” they said, and “Love,” they said,
“The gift of Love is this;
A crown of thorns about thy head,
And vinegar to thy kiss!”—
But Tragedy is not for me;
And I’m content to be gay.
So whenever I spied a Tragic Lady,
I went another way.

And so I never feared to see
You wander down the street,
Or come across the fields to me
On ordinary feet.
For what they’d never told me of,
And what I never knew;
It was that all the time, my love,
Love would be merely you.

Rupert Brooke (born 3 August 1887 - 23 April 1915), written for the love of his life Charles Lascelles.

From the GLBTQ encyclopaedia:
Throughout his life, Brooke had close friends who were homosexual, and usually in love with him. As a schoolboy at Rugby, he was befriended by the aesthetic poet John Lucas-Lucas. At Cambridge, his best friend was James Strachey, who worshipped him. Even after suffering a nervous breakdown and denouncing The Bloomsbury Set (in which he had been involved) in 1912, Brooke only replaced one set of homosexual friends with another. His best friend at the end of his life was Edward Marsh, who was as much in love with him as Strachey had been.
Rupert Brooke biography on BBC History


  1. I am not entirely certain that Rupert Brooke was a "bloke". Rather more effete than that, I suspect. Jx

  2. I know...that crossed my mind as I wrote it...


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