Stands the church clock at ten-to-three And is there honey still for tea?
These are the famous final lines of Brooke’s poem, The Old Vicarage – Grantchester, which I included in my novel, Greening of a Heart. I pinned the image I have included here on my Pinterest board (The Art of a Reader) because it made me think of Rupert Brooke and a pot of tea I once had just outside Cambridge at The Orchard, a tea garden where Cambridge students started a tradition in 1897 of having their afternoon tea.
In 1909, a young graduate of King’s College took up residence there at Orchard House. His name was Rupert Brooke and he’d moved out of Cambridge, hoping to escape his hectic social life and to improve his studies. At one point he lived next door at ‘The Old Vicarage’ continuing his bohemian lifestyle. For a time, Brooke was a part of the endlessly fascinating Bloomsbury Group, and where I first met him. At the out break of the First World War he joined the military and in April, 1915 became ill on board a troop-ship and died at age 27 from blood poisoning.
His most famous lines begin ‘The Soldier,’ words still spoken in military tributes and ceremonies today.
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England