The Company of Lovers
We meet and part now over all the world;
we, the lost company,
take hands together in the night, forget
the night in our brief happiness, silently.
We, who sought many things, throw all away
for this one thing, one only,
remembering that in the narrow grave
we shall be lonely.
Death marshals up his armies round us now.
Their footsteps crowd too near.
Lock your warm hand above the chilling heart
and for a time I live without my fear.
Grope in the night to find me and embrace,
for the dark preludes of the drums begin,
and round us round the company of lovers,
death draws his cordons in.
Judith Wright (1915 -2000)
This poem was written during World War II which brought much separation especially for those travelling from Australia to the various battlefields.
A precious pre-leaving meet between lovers … with no thought of tomorrow … forget the night … for some the long unending night … and those that never returned leave the grave narrow and lonely for any surviving lovers. Today we remember.
There is that foreboding and anticipation of the worst … death draws his cordons in
Another of my favourite Judith Wright poems, again with a cerrtain sense of foreboding, is … ‘Trains’ – Judith Wright