Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Friendship
Benedicite
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)
 
GOD’S love and peace be with thee, where
Soe’er this soft autumnal air
Lifts the dark tresses of thy hair!
 
Whether through city casements comes
Its kiss to thee, in crowded rooms,        5
Or, out among the woodland blooms,
 
It freshens o’er thy thoughtful face,
Imparting, in its glad embrace,
Beauty to beauty, grace to grace!
 
Fair Nature’s book together read,        10
The old wood-paths that knew our tread,
The maple shadows overhead,—
 
The hills we climbed, the river seen
By gleams along its deep ravine,—
All keep thy memory fresh and green.        15
 
Where’er I look, where’er I stray,
Thy thought goes with me on my way,
And hence the prayer I breathe to-day:
 
O’er lapse of time and change of scene,
The weary waste which lies between        20
Thyself and me, my heart I lean.
 
Thou lack’st not Friendship’s spellword, nor
The half-unconscious power to draw
All hearts to thine by Love’s sweet law.
 
With these good gifts of God is cast        25
Thy lot, and many a charm thou hast
To hold the blessèd angels fast.
 
If, then, a fervent wish for thee
The gracious heavens will heed from me,
What should, dear heart, its burden be?        30
 
The sighing of a shaken reed,—
What can I more than meekly plead
The greatness of our common need?
 
God’s love,—unchanging, pure, and true,—
The Paraclete white-shining through        35
His peace,—the fall of Hermon’s dew!
 
With such a prayer, on this sweet day,
As thou mayst hear and I may say,
I greet thee, dearest, far away!
 
 
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