[A. E. Stallings's Hapax 2006]
Visiting the Grave of Rupert Brooke
Island of Skyros, Greece
Rupert, this was where, I’m sure you knew,
The sea nymph Thetis took Achilles to,
And hid him, with his smooth cheek and gold curls,
Among the royal retinue of girls,
As any mother might, to save her son,
From war and death, by arrow or the gun.
Odysseus, recruiting, in disguise,
Set out for sale a range of merchandise,
Stuffs no princess easily resists—
Fine brocades, and bangles for the wrists,
All manner of adornments, silver, gold,
And set a blade among them, brazen, cold—
A simple trap that might catch any boy.
But only old men made it home from Troy.