BROOKE, RUPERT (1887-1915)
AUTOGRAPH DRAFT OF HIS POEM 'HE WONDERS WHETHER TO PRAISE OR BLAME HER', with numerous autograph revisions currente calamo preserving reconsidered readings, comprising 15 lines, one line scored through, 1 page, folio, with a tick before the title (probably indicating either that he was happy with it at that stage or that he had made a fair copy of the poem) [c. 1913]
I have calm to weigh your worth now all is over
Now that I'm free, I often think you over, Yet
But if to praise or blame you, cannot say.
For who decries the loved, decries the lover...
This draft differs in several particulars from the final version of the sonnet printed in The Poetical Works. It contains both the final and a trial reading for half of the last line, trial and alternative readings in five other lines and one whole line cancelled. In the printed version the first line begins 'I have peace to weigh your worth.' The poem was first printed in Poetry and Drama, Vol. I. No 4. December 1913.
Pearsall observes that this poem is a sixteenth-century-style sonnet in which Brooke set up two dilemmas to produce a third dilemma, with its conclusion. Drafts by Rupert Brooke do not appear for sale often. The main repository for Brooke's manuscripts is King's College, Cambridge; Rugby School also has holdings.
PROVENANCE: Dudley Ward, a close friend of Rupert Brooke.
REFERENCE: R.B. Pearsall, Rupert Brooke: The Man and Poet, 1974.