Farewells By Abram Joseph Ryan

    They are so sad to say: no poem tells
    The agony of hearts that dwells
    In lone and last farewells.

    They are like deaths: they bring a wintry chill
    To summer’s roses, and to summer’s rill;
    And yet we breathe them still.

    For pure as altar-lights hearts pass away;
    Hearts! we said to them, “Stay with us! stay!”
    And they said, sighing as they said it, “Nay.”

    The sunniest days are shortest; darkness tells
    The starless story of the night that dwells
    In lone and last farewells.

    Two faces meet here, there, or anywhere:
    Each wears the thoughts the other face may wear;
    Their hearts may break, breathing, “Farewell fore’er.”