"The Master of the Caravan:
But who are ye in rags and rotten shoes
You dirty-bearded, blocking up the way?
We are the Pilgrims, master: we shall go
Always a little further: it may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow,
Across that angry or that glimmering sea"
From The Golden Journey to Samarkand, James Elroy Flecker,
who died of TB in 1915, aged 31.
It reminded me of CP Cavafy's Ithaka, which always makes
me laugh and cry at the same time.
We'd been discussing, in a meandering sort of way,
contrasts of youth and age, in life, death and in
literature, sparked off by Dylan Thomas'
'do not go gentle into that good night..'
Keats had the similar youthful exuberance and joy
in extravagant words. I looked up 'Ode to a Nightingale'
- too long to post here, but wondrous.
I continued, transferred, adjusted this conversation
with yet another friend, so deep into the night -
whether writing dates, or whether it stands through
time, to adherents.
No great conclusions, but I felt wistful,
a little point of present,
looking over my shoulder at eons
and forward into an abyss.