To Charles Butler
Thus, one by one, dear friend, the years flow by,
That bear us onward to the silent land.
And one by one, around us falling lie,
The loved ones we have walked with, hand in hand.
And thus, the hour comes swiftly, surely on;
I see its shadow darkly toward us creep,
When one shall go, and one be left alone,
To bear life's chain, alone to wait and weep.
How sad, how dark, did not the heavenly stars,
Twin stars of Faith, and Hope, rise on our way,
To shed their luster through our prison-bars,
To light our path on to eternal day!
That day that knows no cloud, no change, no night,
Where tears, and pain, and sorrow, enter never,
Where the beloved on earth again unite,
Where one in God, they part no more forever.