One Before the Last, The
by Rupert Brooke
I dreamt I was in love again
With the One Before the Last,
And smiled to greet the pleasant pain
Of that innocent young past.
But I jumped to feel how sharp had been
The pain when it did live,
How the faded dreams of Nineteen-ten
Were Hell in Nineteen-five.
The boy's woe was as keen and clear,
The boy's love just as true,
And the One Before the Last, my dear,
Hurt quite as much as you.
* * * * *
Sickly I pondered how the lover
Wrongs the unanswering tomb,
And sentimentalizes over
What earned a better doom.
Gently he tombs the poor dim last time,
Strews pinkish dust above,
And sighs, "The dear dead boyish pastime!
But THIS -- ah, God! -- is Love!"
-- Better oblivion hide dead true loves,
Better the night enfold,
Than men, to eke the praise of new loves,
Should lie about the old!
* * * * *
Oh! bitter thoughts I had in plenty.
But here's the worst of it --
I shall forget, in Nineteen-twenty,
YOU ever hurt abit!