Tiare Tahiti "Well This Side Of Paradise!"
by Rupert Brooke

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"Well This Side Of Paradise!"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The poet, speaking to his beloved, is contemplating the prospects of a life after death as conceived by the wise and as contrasted to the paradisiacal but very earthly life he is sharing now in the South Seas with his beloved. He is puzzled and dismayed by the idea that all things blend into the Absolute at the end of time. "All are one in Paradise," he reasons. "Instead of lovers, Love shall be." All lovely things will lose their uniqueness and peculiar beauty; there will be no more individuality or physical pleasures, no more dreaming under the ferns or dancing or kissing. "Oh, Heaven's Heaven!–but we'll be missing/ The palms, and sunlight, and the south," he exclaims. Then he calls on his beloved to live today in this life and to experience the earthly joys. "Hear the calling of the moon"; enjoy human love in a world of variety, contrast, and activity:

Dive and double and follow after,
Snare in flowers, and kiss, and call,
With lips that fade, and human laughter
And faces individual,
Well this side of Paradise! . . .
There's little comfort in the wise.