Gnat-Voices in Unbridgeable Dark

The Jolly Company
by Rupert Brooke

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.

Reading this, I picture Bilbo looking up at the night sky where the Silmaril shines on Earendil’s brow as he sails alone.  Then I read it again and think of Yvaine and Tristan, lighting the Babylon candle to journey to the sky: shining forever, but always that distance apart.  Then I read it again and think of every creature that was lifted out of terrestrial distress to be set, forever unchanging, in the heavens.  There is a sharp poignancy there, in the unbridgeable dark between the stars.

But perhaps it is more sensible to pity those walking in their own hidden desert of despair here on Earth.

This post was some of a response to the Daily Prompt, though not really in answer to it, as I’m disinclined to say much of my last bout of loneliness.  


3 thoughts on “Gnat-Voices in Unbridgeable Dark

  1. “…And it essayed to drown the other music by the violence of its voice, but it seemed that its most triumphant notes were taken by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern.” -Ainulindale, Silmarillion

    Not sure why your post lead me to this quote, but it did. So here it is.

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