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The Jolly Company

by Rupert Brooke, 1916

The stars, a jolly company,
  I envied, straying late and lonely;
And cried upon their revelry:
  "O white companionship! You only
In love, in faith unbroken dwell,
Friends radiant and inseparable!"

Light-heart and glad they seemed to me
  And merry comrades (even so
God out of Heaven may laugh to see
  The happy crowds; and never know
That in his lone obscure distress
Each walketh in a wilderness).

But i, remembering, pitied well
  And loved them, who, with lonely light,
In empty infinite spaces dwell,
  Disconsolate. For, all the night,
I heard the thin gnat-voices cry,
Star to faint star, across the sky.

Published in The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke

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