The Companions

How few are they that voyage through the night
On that eternal quest,
For that strange light beyond our light,
That rest beyond our rest.

And they who, seeking beauty, once descry
Her face, to most unknown;
Thenceforth like changelings from the sky
Must walk their road alone.

So once I dreamed. So idle was my mood;
But now, before these eyes,
From those foul trenches, black with blood,
What radiant legions rise!

And loveliness over the wounded earth awakes
Like wild-flowers in the Spring.
Out of the mortal chrysalis breaks
Immortal wing on wing.

They rise like flowers, they wander on wings of light,
Through realms beyond our ken.
The loneliest soul is companied tonight
By hosts of unknown men.

by Alfred Noyes

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