The Great Gray Water [poem by E. J. Brady]

[Editor: This poem by E. J. Brady was published in The Ways of Many Waters (1899).]

XXI.

The Great Gray Water.

Now two have met, now two have met,
Who may not meet again —
Two grains of sand, two blades of grass,
Two threads within the skein —
Beside the Great Gray Water.

Two hands to touch, two hearts to touch;
And, here foregathered, we
Will not forget, may not forget,
Where last foregathered three —
Beyond the Great Gray Water.

Two glasses filled, two pipes to fill —
“To all our fortunes, brother!”
And as they clink — like so — we drink
Fair passage to the other
Across the Great Grey Water.

For three have sailed, and one has sailed,
His sins, like ours, still on him.
God sleep his soul! five oceans roll
Their long weight all upon him.
O God! thy Great Gray Water!

But I am still, and you are still,
And here our chance has flung us;
True comrades we, but . . . there were three,
And one is not among us
Beside the Great Gray Water.

A breathing space, a biding place,
Soft lights and beakers beaded,
Then out again and on again,
Unminded and unheeded,
Across the Great Gray Water.

Now two have met where three have met
With curses or with laughter;
And so our Day shall pass away,
And so our Night come after —
But, ah! the Great Gray Water!



Source:
E. J. Brady, The Ways of Many Waters, Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian, 1909 [first published 1899], pages 103-104

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