If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the Eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by
Her sights and sounds, dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an english heaven.
1. What does Brooke remember about his life in England?
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines (shells)
that dropped behing.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--an ecstasy
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out
And flound' ring like a man in fire of lime....
Dim, through the misty panes and thick
As under a green sea, I saw him drowining.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering,
2. In Owen's poem, what weapon of war do the soldiers encounter in the second verse? What do they do? What happens to one of them?
3. Make Comparisons...Please compare the two pictures of war - and of dying in war-that these poets give. If Brooke had lived long enough to serve in trench war, do you think he might have written differently?