by Theodore Tilton
O true and noble friend! -- (too far away:
Thou on the prairie, I beside the sea) --
The spring, that should be here, makes long delay,
And not a flower is open to the bee.
Meanwhile, from thee, the west wind comes to say,
Thy feet are walking where the fields are fair,
And nests are in the boughs that late were bare.
Thou hast the early season, I the late.
For thee the blossoms of the orchard blow;
On me the sea-gulls and the fog-wreaths wait.
But shall the leagues between us loose the band
By which, though hands unclasp, yet hearts may cling?
I ask myself, shall we, who, months ago,
Through frosty days, and in a frozen land,
Built up a friendship on the winter's snow,
Behold it melt and vanish in the spring?
False friendship was it, if it perish so:
True friendship is an everlasting thing.
There runs a record that not only saith,
loved his own, but
loved them to the end.
So evermore a man shall love his friend,
With friendship that outliveth life and death!
Source:The Sexton's Tale, And Other Poems.
Sheldon And Company, New York.