Jessie Mackay

(1864 - 1938 / Rakaia Gorge)

The Grey Company


O the grey, grey company
   Of the pallid dawn!
O the ghostly faces,
   Ashen-like and drawn!
The Lord's lone sentinels
   Dotted down the years,
The little grey company
   Before the pioneers.

Dreaming of Utopias
   Ere the time was ripe,
They awoke to scorning,
   The jeering and the strife.
Dreaming of millenniums
   In a world of wars,
They awoke to shudder
   At a flaming Mars.

Never was a Luther
   But a Huss was first --
A fountain unregarded
   In the primal thirst.
Never was a Newton
   Crowned and honoured well,
But first, alone, Galileo
   Wasted in a cell.

In each other's faces
   Looked the pioneers;
Drank the wine of courage
   All their battle years.
For their weary sowing
   Through the world wide,
Green they saw the harvest
   Ere the day they died.

But the grey, grey company
   Stood every man alone
In the chilly dawnlight,
   Scarcely had they known
Ere the day they perished,
   That their beacon-star
Was not glint of marsh-light
   In the shadows far.

The brave white witnesses
   To the truth within
Took the dart of folly,
   Took the jeer of sin;
Crying "Follow, follow,
   Back to Eden gate!"
They trod the Polar desert,
   Met a desert fate.

Be laurel to the victor,
   And roses to the fair,
And asphodel Elysian
   Let the hero wear;
But lay the maiden lilies
   Upon their narrow biers --
The lone grey company
   Before the pioneers.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: hero, courage, alone, fate, star, truth, green, world, light, rose, dream

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Grey Company by Jessie Mackay )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Polluted, Edward Kofi Louis
  2. Rolling In The Mud, Margaret Alice Second
  3. My Roving Art, Julian Mann
  4. Great Is Your Faithfulness, Edward Kofi Louis
  5. Last Requests, Peter Jay Shippy
  6. I Read, Aparna Chatterjee
  7. My Ragged Company, Peter Jay Shippy
  8. To Kiss What You Love, Edward Kofi Louis
  9. Beauty of words....., Anupa Subramanian
  10. The Strangers, Peter Jay Shippy

Poem of the Day

poet Robert William Service

Just Home and Love! the words are small
Four little letters unto each;
And yet you will not find in all
The wide and gracious range of speech
Two more so tenderly complete:
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Paul Muldoon

 

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  3. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. In Flanders Field, John McCrae
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  9. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  10. Home And Love, Robert William Service

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]