First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Rupert Brooke: V. The Soldier

Rupert Brooke's sonnet 'The Treasure' was the first in a sonnet sequence entitled '1914'. The five numbered sonnets, preceded by this unnumbered sonnet were first published in the periodical New Numbers (number 4) in January of 1915: The Treasure (below), I. Peace, II. Safety, III. The Dead, IV. The Dead, V. The Soldier.

The Treasure

When colour goes home into the eyes,
And lights that shine are shut again,
With dancing girls and sweet bird's cries
Behind the gateways of the brain;
And that no-place which gave them birth, shall close
The rainbow and the rose:-

Still may Time hold some golden space
Where I'll unpack that scented store
Of song and flower and sky and face,
And count, and touch, and turn them o'er,
Musing upon them: as a mother, who
Has watched her children all the rich day through,
Sits, quiet-handed, in the fading light,
When children sleep, ere night.

August 1914.