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The Jolly Company -- Rupert Brooke

Guest poem submitted by Mike Christie:
(Poem #1857) The Jolly Company
 The stars, a jolly company,
     I envied, straying late and lonely;
 And cried upon their revelry:
     "O white companionship! You only
 In love, in faith unbroken dwell,
 Friends radiant and inseparable!"

 Light-heart and glad they seemed to me
     And merry comrades (even so
 God out of heaven may laugh to see
     the happy crowds; and never know
 that in his lone obscure distress
 each walketh in a wilderness).

 But I, remembering, pitied well
     And loved them, who, with lonely light,
 In empty infinite spaces dwell,
     Disconsolate. For, all the night,
 I heard the thin gnat-voices cry,
 Star to faint star, across the sky.
-- Rupert Brooke
I have never been a particular fan of Rupert Brooke, but I think he has the
occasional gift for a perfect turn of phrase.  In this case I knew the
phrase before I knew the poem: the last two and a half lines of this poem,
to be exact.  John Wyndham (the author of "The Day of the Triffids") quotes
them in one of his more obscure books, "The Outward Urge".  I read that book
many years ago and loved the lines, but I only recently found the original

The poem itself is competent, and I am glad to have found it.  But to me it
turns from silver to gold at the end; those two lines are wonderfully
evocative, and bring the poem's theme out with surgical and emotional


PS. I found this version on the web, so if [any Minstrels reader has] a text
to check that would be good, since I have no faith in the accuracy of web

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