Parting Words

By Melissa E. Banta

When lovers part at eventide
To meet again tomorrow,
With laughing lips and backward glance,
Undimmed by thought of sorrow,
Ah, then, as glows the sickle moon,
And soft distils the dew,
What other word so fitting sweet
As, “Love, adieu, adieu”?

When true friends part whose lives in one,
Like rippling streamlets blended,
As clinging hands and tearful eyes
Bespeak that all is ended,
Ah, then beneath life’s summer noon,
Or autumn’s stormier sky,
What word so fond on friendship’s lips
As, “Friend, good-by, good-by”?

When o’er some life knit to our own
Death’s darkness settles stilly,
As fades the love-light from the eyes,
And falls the clasped hand chilly;
With raining tears and aching loss
That tears may not dispel,
The tortured heart throbs to the lips,
“Farewell, beloved farewell.”

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