Which Rupert Brooke poem opens "If I should die, think only this of me"?
"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 …"
Rupert Brooke’s poem, ‘The Soldier’, was read at the Easter Sunday service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, in 1915 during the First World War. Thousands of men had already been killed in action, so ‘The Soldier’ struck a patriotic chord with the congregation. A month after the service, Brooke died aged 27 from an infected mosquito bite aboard a French ship moored off the coast of the Greek island of Skyros.
Rupert Chawner Brooke (1887-1915) was an English poet known for his war sonnets written during the First World War. 'The Soldier' is one of his best known works and has influenced several writers. During the lead up to the first moon landing in 1969, U.S. President Richard Nixon read a public address that intentionally echoed the lines of the poem.