Verse > Rupert Brooke > Collected Poems > VI. Other Poems > 6. The Night Journey
Rupert Brooke (1887–1915).  Collected Poems. 1916.
VI. Other Poems
6. 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.        5
  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;       10
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,       15
  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       20
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.       25
  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.



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