Poem Hunter
(1887-1915 / Warwickshire / England)


I think if you had loved me when I wanted;
If I'd looked up one day, and seen your eyes,
And found my wild sick blasphemous prayer granted,
And your brown face, that's full of pity and wise,
Flushed suddenly; the white godhead in new fear
Intolerably so struggling, and so shamed;
Most holy and far, if you'd come all too near,
If earth had seen Earth's lordliest wild limbs tamed,
Shaken, and trapped, and shivering, for MY touch --
Myself should I have slain? or that foul you?
But this the strange gods, who had given so much,
To have seen and known you, this they might not do.
One last shame's spared me, one black word's unspoken;
And I'm alone; and you have not awoken.

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Comments (1)

Brooke's sexual ambiguity is illustrated in this poem. He wishes to be intimate with Noel Oliver, but holds back because he fears that she will lose that pure virginal image. Brooke was a Puritan at heart, and by upbringing.