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About this Poem 

“Sonnet Reversed” was originally published in The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke (Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1915).

Sonnet Reversed

Hand trembling towards hand; the amazing lights
Of heart and eye. They stood on supreme heights.

Ah, the delirious weeks of honeymoon!
   Soon they returned, and, after strange adventures,
Settled at Balham by the end of June.
   Their money was in Can. Pacs. B. Debentures,
And in Antofagastas. Still he went
   Cityward daily; still she did abide
At home. And both were really quite content
   With work and social pleasures. Then they died.
They left three children (besides George, who drank):
   The eldest Jane, who married Mr. Bell,
William, the head-clerk in the County Bank,
   And Henry, a stock-broker, doing well.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 11, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 11, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke

English poet Rupert Brooke wrote in an anti-Victorian style, using rustic themes and subjects such as friendship and love, and his poems reflected the mood in England during the years leading up to World War I. 

by this poet

poem
How should I know? The enormous wheels of will  
  Drove me cold-eyed on tired and sleepless feet.  
Night was void arms and you a phantom still,  
  And day your far light swaying down the street.  
As never fool for love, I starved for you;
  My throat was dry and my eyes hot to see.  
Your mouth so lying was
poem
All night the ways of Heaven were desolate,
    Long roads across a gleaming empty sky.
    Outcast and doomed and driven, you and I,
Alone, serene beyond all love or hate,
Terror or triumph, were content to wait,
    We, silent and all-knowing. Suddenly
    Swept through the heaven low-crouching from on high,
poem
Breathless, we flung us on the windy hill,
    Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.
    You said, ‘Through glory and ecstasy we pass;
Wind, sun, and earth remain, the birds sing still,
When we are old, are old….’ ‘And when we die
    All’s over that is ours; and life burns on
Through other lovers,