The Great War

from Late Songs, an electronic edition


What new star now in the sky

Needs a starry colony

That our men flock forth in troops,

All our joys, our loves, our hopes?

Wise and brave and kind they go

Through the lonesome gate and low;

All our starry colonists

Through the rains and through the mists,

To what glories may they fare,

To what floods of ambient air,

To what rivers, to what trees,

To what dreaming palaces?

Just beyond the gate may be

Leagues on leagues of crystal sea,

And high galleons, poop on poop,

Where they shall go climbing up.

Twisted cordage of spun gold,

Sails of silk in fold on fold.

Like a flock of heavenly birds

Sails the squadron Paradise-wards.

Spiced winds have ta'en the sails.

Singing like the nightingales

The young souls go glad and gay,

All their faces turned one way.

Now the Great Adventure calls,

And they steal, with hushed footfalls,

For there's work awaits them yonder

In a starry world of wonder.

Young and fond and fair and brave,

What new planet now may crave

All these starry colonists

From the rains and from the mists?