The sweet red wine of youth

While using the database today I came across an inscription that I hadn’t seen before on a memorial.  It struck me with its unusually vivid imagery.

These laid the world away/ Poured out the sweet red wine of youth/ Gave up the years to be

Using the Advanced Search on our database, it’s possible to search memorial inscriptions.  By doing this I found several other memorials that used the same verse.  The lines are actually from a poem entitled III. The Dead, written in 1914 by Rupert Brooke. 

Brooke, a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, would himself become a war casualty.  He died from acute blood poisoning  on 23 April 1915 while on route to Gallipoli and was buried on the Island of Skyros in Greece.

 Read the whole of III. The Dead

Brooke also wrote one of the most famous poems of the First World War, which begins “If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field that is forever England.”

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