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Rupert Brooke: TIARE TAHITI

Rupert Brooke

(1887-1915)

TIARE TAHITI

 

AMUA, when our laughter ends,

And hearts and bodies, brown as white,

Are dust about the doors of friends,

Or scent ablowing down the night,

Then, oh! then, the wise agree,

Comes our immortality.

Mamua, there waits a land

Hard for us to understand.

Out of time, beyond the sun,

All are one in Paradise,

You and Pupure are one,

And Taü, and the ungainly wise.

There the Eternals are, and there

The Good, the Lovely, and the True,

And Types, whose earthly copies were

The foolish broken things we knew;

There is the Face, whose ghosts we are;

The real, the never-setting Star;

And the Flower, of which we love

Faint and fading shadows here;

Never a tear, but only Grief;

Dance, but not the limbs that move;

Songs in Song shall disappear;

Instead of lovers, Love shall be;

For hearts, Immutability;

And there, on the Ideal Reef,

Thunders the Everlasting Sea!

 

And my laughter, and my pain,

Shall home to the Eternal Brain.

And all lovely things, they say,

Meet in Loveliness again;

Miri’s laugh, Teipo’s feet,

And the hands of Matua,

Stars and sunlight there shall meet

Coral’s hues and rainbows there,

And Teüra’s braided hair;

And with the starred tiare’s white,

And white birds in the dark ravine,

And flamboyants ablaze at night,

And jewels, and evening’s after-green,

And dawns of pearl and gold and red,

Mamua, your lovelier head!

And there’ll no more be one who dreams

Under the ferns, of crumbling stuff,

Eyes of illusion, mouth that seems,

All time-entangled human love.

And you’ll no longer swing and sway

Divinely down the scented shade,

Where feet to Ambulation fade,

And moons are lost in endless Day.

How shall we wind these wreaths of ours,

Where there are neither heads nor flowers?

Oh, Heaven’s Heaven! — but we’ll be missing

The palms, and sunlight, and the south;

And there’s an end, I think, of kissing,

When our mouths are one with Mouth …

 

Taü here, Mamua,

Crown the hair, and come away!

Hear the calling of the moon,

And the whispering scents that stray

About the idle warm lagoon.

Hasten, hand in human hand,

Down the dark, the flowered way,

Along the whiteness of the sand,

And in the water’s soft caress,

Wash the mind of foolishness,

Mamua, until the day.

Spend the glittering moonlight there

Pursuing down the soundless deep

Limbs that gleam and shadowy hair,

Or floating lazy, half-asleep.

Dive and double and follow after,

Snare in flowers, and kiss, and call,

With lips that fade, and human laughter

And faces individual,

Well this side of Paradise! …

There’s little comfort in the wise.

 

Source: Rupert Brooke. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1915.

Rupert Brooke poetry

kempis.nl poetry magazine

More in: Archive A-B, Brooke, Rupert

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