The Night Journey

Hands and lit faces eddy to a line;
    The dazed las minutes click; the clamour dies.
Beyond the great-swung are 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 and 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 thing.
    Speed sharpens; grows.    Into the night, and on,
The strength and splendor of our purpose swings.
    The lamps fade; and the stars.    We are alone. 

This poem is in the public domain.