Friends Far Away
–Horace Twiss (1786-1849),
From Library of World Poetry, edited by William Cullen Bryant, Chatham River Press, 1984
Count not the hours while their silent wings
Thus waft them in fairy flight ;
For feeling, warm from her dearest springs,
Shall hallow the scene to-night.
And while the music of joy is here,
And the colors of life are gay,
Let us think on those that have loved us dear,
The Friends who are far away.
Few are the hearts that have proved the truth
Of their early affection’s vow ;
And let those few, the beloved youth,
Be dear in their absence now.
O, vividly in their faithful breast
Shall gleam of remembrance play,
Like the lingering light of the crimson west,
When the sunbeam hath passed away !
Soft be the sleep of their pleasant hours,
And calm be the seas they roam !
May the way they travel be strewed with flowers,
Till it bring them in safety home !
And when we whose hearts are o’erflowing thus
Ourselves may be doomed to stray,
May some kind orison rise for us,
When we shall be far away !