Verse > Rupert Brooke > Collected Poems > II. 1908–1911 > 28. A Channel Passage
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Rupert Brooke (1887–1915).  Collected Poems. 1916.
  
II. 1908–1911
28. A Channel Passage
  
THE DAMNED ship lurched and slithered. Quiet and quick
  My cold gorge rose; the long sea rolled; I knew
I must think hard of something, or be sick;
  And could think hard of only one thing—you!
You, you alone could hold my fancy ever!        5
  And with you memories come, sharp pain, and dole.
Now there’s a choice—heartache or tortured liver!
  A sea-sick body, or a you-sick soul!
  
Do I forget you? Retchings twist and tie me,
  Old meat, good meals, brown gobbets, up I throw.       10
Do I remember? Acrid return and slimy,
  The sobs and slobber of a last years woe.
And still the sick ship rolls. ’Tis hard, I tell ye,
To choose ’twixt love and nausea, heart and belly.

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