Poems 1912-1913

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

Beauty and Beauty


Mary and Gabriel


The Busy Heart


The Chilterns


The Night Journey

The Way That Lovers Use

The Funeral of Youth: Threnody


The Night Journey

Hands and lit faces eddy to a line;
   The dazed last minutes click; the clamour dies.
Beyond the great-swung arc o' the roof, divine,
   Night, smoky-scarv'd, with thousand coloured eyes

Glares the imperious mystery of the way.
   Thirsty for dark, you feel the long-limbed train
Throb, stretch, thrill motion, slide, pull out and sway,
   Strain for the far, pause, draw to strength again. . . .

As a man, caught by some great hour, will rise,
   Slow-limbed, to meet the light or find his love;
And, breathing long, with staring sightless eyes,
   Hands out, head back, agape and silent, move

Sure as a flood, smooth as a vast wind blowing;
   And, gathering power and purpose as he goes,
Unstumbling, unreluctant, strong, unknowing,
   Borne by a will not his, that lifts, that grows,

Sweep out to darkness, triumphing in his goal,
   Out of the fire, out of the little room. . . .
-- There is an end appointed, O my soul!
   Crimson and green the signals burn; the gloom

Is hung with steam's far-blowing livid streamers.
   Lost into God, as lights in light, we fly,
Grown one with will, end-drunken huddled dreamers.
   The white lights roar. The sounds of the world die.

And lips and laughter are forgotten things.
   Speed sharpens; grows. Into the night, and on,
The strength and splendour of our purpose swings.
   The lamps fade; and the stars. We are alone.