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A Channel Passage

by Rupert Brooke, 1916

The damned ship lurched and slithered. Quiet and quick
  My cold gorge rose; the long sea rolled; I knew
I must think hard of something, or be sick;
  And could think hard of only one thing—you!
You, you alone could hold my fancy ever!
  And with you memories come, sharp pain, and dole.
Now there's a choice—heartache or tortured liver!
  A sea-sick body, or a you-sick soul!

Do i forget you? Retchings twist and tie me,
  Old meat, good meals, brown gobbets, up I throw.
Do i remember? Acrid return and slimy,
  The sobs and slobber of a last years woe.
And still the sick ship rolls. 'Tis hard, I tell ye,
To choose 'twixt love and nausea, heart and belly.

Published in The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke

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