The Death of Rupert Brooke

By George Sterling

Poets of England, where are you to-day?
    If I, removed by nigh three hundred years
    From English soil, share thus your hopes and fears,
And, young no longer, plan to join the fray,
What swords are at your gates, that you delay
    Your passage to the thundering frontiers?
    The heart of Bruce was hurled beyond the spears,
And one as great hath shown you now the way.

Say not, "Why place a weapon in his hand?"
    Say not, "He could have written many a book,
To render better service to his land."
        There comes a time when sterner things must be,
    And all the words of Byron and of Brooke
        Match not the stand they took for liberty.

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