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THE WANDERERS

            WANDERING, ever wandering,
            Their eyelids freshened with the wind of the sea
            Blown up the cliffs at sunset, their cheeks cooled
            With meditative shadows of hushed leaves
            That have been drowsing in the woods all day,
            And certain fires of sunrise in their eyes.

            They wander, and the white roads under them
            Crumble into fine dust behind their feet,
            For they return not ; life, a long white road,
            Winds ever from the dark into the dark,
            And they, as days, return not ; they go on
            For ever, with the travelling stars ; the night
            Curtains them, being wearied, and the dawn
            Awakens them unwearied; they go on.
            They know the winds of all the earth, they know
            The dust of many highways, and the stones
            Of cities set for landmarks on the road.
            Theirs is the world, and all the glory of it,
            Theirs, because they forego it, passing on
            Into the freedom of the elements ;
            Wandering, ever wandering,
            Because life holds not anything so good
            As to be free of yesterday, and bound
            Towards a new to-morrow ; and they wend
            Into a world of unknown faces, where

150                              THE SAVOY

            It may be there are faces waiting them,
            Faces of friendly strangers, not the long
            Intolerable monotony of friends.

            The joy of earth is yours, O wanderers,
            The only joy of the old earth, to wake,
            As each new dawn is patiently renewed,
            With foreheads fresh against a fresh young sky.
            To be a little further on the road,
            A little nearer somewhere, some few steps
            Advanced into the future, and removed
            By some few counted milestones from the past ;
            God gives you this good gift, the only gift
            That God, being repentant, has to give.

            Wanderers, you have the sunrise and the stars ;
            And we, beneath our comfortable roofs,
            Lamplight, and daily fire upon the hearth,
            And four walls of a prison, and sure food.
            But God has given you freedom, wanderers!

                                                                        Arthur Symons.

MLA citation:

Symons, Arthur. “The Wanderers.” The Savoy,, vol. 1 January 1896, pp. 149-150. Savoy Digital Edition, edited by Christopher Keep and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2018-2020. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019. https://1890s.ca/savoyv1-symons-wanderers/