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!
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/