Judith Wright--Australian


Judith Arundell Wright


Judith Arundell Wright was an Australian poet, environmentalist and human rights activist.  Born in 1915, Wright studied philosophy and history at the University of Sydney.  Wright’s first book of poetry, The Moving Image was published in 1946.   During this time she worked on the Australian literary magazine, Meanjin.  She was the first Australian to receive the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry.  This award along with several others, The Robert Frost Memorial Award in 1977 and Australian World Prize in 1984, in particular speak to her place among Australian writers.  She died in 2000.

The Company of Lovers

We meet and part now over all the world;
we, the lost company,
take hands together in the night, forget
the night in our brief happiness, silently.
We, who sought many things, throw all away
for this one thing, one only,
remembering that in the narrow grave
we shall be lonely. 

Death marshalls up his armies round us now.
Their footsteps crowd too near.
Lock your warm hand above the chilling heart
and for a time I live without my fear.
Grope in the night to find me and embrace,
for the dark preludes of the drums begin,
and round us round the company of lovers,
death draws his cordons in.