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Dead Men's Love
by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

There was a damned successful Poet;
   There was a Woman like the Sun.
And they were dead. They did not know it.
   They did not know their time was done.
            They did not know his hymns
            Were silence; and her limbs,
            That had served Love so well,
            Dust, and a filthy smell.

And so one day, as ever of old,
   Hands out, they hurried, knee to knee;
On fire to cling and kiss and hold
   And, in the other's eyes, to see
            Each his own tiny face,
            And in that long embrace
            Feel lip and breast grow warm
            To breast and lip and arm.

So knee to knee they sped again,
   And laugh to laugh they ran, I'm told,
Across the streets of Hell . . .
                                                      And then
They suddenly felt the wind blow cold,
            And knew, so closely pressed,
            Chill air on lip and breast,
            And, with a sick surprise,
            The emptiness of eyes.

 

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