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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The One Before the Last by Rupert Brooke

I dreamt I was in love again
With the One Before the Last,
And smiled to greet the pleasant pain
Of that innocent young past.

But I jumped to feel how sharp had been
The pain when it did live,
How the faded dreams of Nineteen-ten
Were Hell in Nineteen-five.

The boy's woe was as keen and clear,
The boy's love just as true,
And the One Before the Last, my dear,
Hurt quite as much as you.

* * * * *

Sickly I pondered how the lover
Wrongs the unanswering tomb,
And sentimentalizes over
What earned a better doom.

Gently he tombs the poor dim last time,
Strews pinkish dust above,
And sighs, "The dear dead boyish pastime!
But THIS -- ah, God! -- is Love!"

-- Better oblivion hide dead true loves,
Better the night enfold,
Than men, to eke the praise of new loves,
Should lie about the old!

* * * * *

Oh! bitter thoughts I had in plenty.
But here's the worst of it --
I shall forget, in Nineteen-twenty,
YOU ever hurt abit!


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