THE SOLDIER

By Rupert Brookes

If I should die, think only this of me:
     That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever 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 England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

NOTE

'The Soldier', being the conclusion and the finale to Brooke's 1914 war sonnet series, deals with the death and accomplishments of a soldier. Written with fourteen lines in a Petrarchan/Italian sonnet form, the poem is divided into an opening octet, and  then followed by a concluding sestet.