If from my quivering lips in vain
The faltering accents strove to flow,
It was because my heart's deep pain
Bade tears be swift and utterance slow;
For in that moment rose the ghosts
Of pleasant hours in bygone years;
And your kind faces, O my hosts!
Showed blurred and dimly through my tears.
I could not tell you of the pride
That thrilled me in that parting hour:
Grief held command all undenied,
And only o'er my speech had power.
I found no words to tell the thoughts
That strove for utterance in my brain:
With gratitude my soul was fraught,
And yet I only spoke of pain.
O friends! 'tis you, and such as you,
That make this parting hard to bear!
Pass all things else my past life knew:
I scarcely heed—I do not care.
I lose in you the dearest part
Of pleasant time that here now ends:
Hand parts from hand, not heart from heart,
And I must leave you, O my friends!
What can the future's fairest hours
Bring me to recompense for these?
Acquaintances spring like the flowers—
Friends are slow growth, like forest trees.
Come hope or gladness, what there will—
Days bright as sunshine after rain—
The past gave life's best blessings still:
We'll find no friends like these again.
I leave you in the dear old home
That once was mine—now mine no more:
Henceforth a stranger I must come
To haunts so well beloved of yore;
Yet if your faces turn to mine
The kindly smile I'm wont to see,
Not all, not all I must resign—
My lost home's light still shines for me!
Whatever chance or change be mine
In other climes, 'neath foreign skies,
Your love, your kindness, I shall hold
Dearest amid dear memories.
O eyes grown dim with falling tears!
O lips where Sorrow lays her spell!
The saddest task of all life's years
Is yours—to look and say farewell!
AUGUSTIN'S, April 7, 1873.