Verse > Rupert Brooke > Collected Poems > III. Experiments > 2. Choriambics—II
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Rupert Brooke (1887–1915).  Collected Poems. 1916.
  
III. Experiments
2. Choriambics—II
  
HERE the flame that was ash, shrine that was void, lost in the haunted wood,
I have tended and loved, year upon year, I in the solitude
Waiting, quiet and glad-eyed in the dark, knowing that once a gleam
Glowed and went through the wood. Still I abode strong in a golden dream,
Unrecaptured.        5
    For I, I that had faith, knew that a face would glance
One day, white in the dim woods, and a voice call, and a radiance
Fill the grove, and the fire suddenly leap… and, in the heart of it,
End of labouring, you! Therefore I kept ready the altar, lit
The flame, burning apart.       10
    Face of my dreams vainly in vision white
Gleaming down to me, lo! hopeless I rise now. For about midnight
Whispers grew through the wood suddenly, strange cries in the boughs above
Grated, cries like a laugh. Silent and black then through the sacred grove
Great birds flew, as a dream, troubling the leaves, passing at length.       15
    I knew
Long expected and long loved, that afar, God of the dim wood, you
Somewhere lay, as a child sleeping, a child suddenly reft from mirth,
White and wonderful yet, white in your youth, stretched upon foreign earth,
God, immortal and dead!       20
    Therefore I go; never to rest, or win
Peace, and worship of you more, and the dumb wood and the shrine therein.

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