Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Meeting

After so long an absence
At last we meet again :
Does the meeting give us pleasure,
Or does it give us pain?

The tree of life has been shaken,
And but few of us linger now,
Like the Prophet's two or three
berries
In the top of the uppermost
bough.

We cordially greet each other
In the old, familiar tone;
And we think, though we do not
say it,
How old and gray he is grown!

We speak of a Merry Christmas
And many a Happy New Year;
But each in his heart is thinking
Of those that are not here.

We speak of friends and their fortunes,
And of what they did and said,
Till the dead alone seem living,
And the living alone seem dead.

And at last we hardly distinguish
Between the ghosts and the
guests;
And a mist and shadow of sadness
Steals over our merriest jests.

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