William Butler Yeats, the Irish versifier, called Brooke 'the handsomest man in England'. Accounts of him describe his sky-blue eyes, athletic build and easeful gait. He certainly had his female admirers, among them Virginia Woolf, but he was open to persuasion from members of both sexes. The thought gives a certain piquancy to Shelley's line: 'On a poet's lips I slept'.
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