Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Poems Subjective and Reminiscent
A Legacy
  FRIEND of my many years!
When the great silence falls, at last, on me,
Let me not leave, to pain and sadden thee,
  A memory of tears.
  But pleasant thoughts alone        5
Of one who was thy friendship’s honored guest
And drank the wine of consolation pressed
  From sorrows of thy own.
  I leave with thee a sense
Of hands upheld and trials rendered less—        10
The unselfish joy which is to helpfulness
  Its own great recompense;
  The knowledge that from thine,
As from the garments of the Master, stole
Calmness and strength, the virtue which makes whole        15
  And heals without a sign;
  Yea more, the assurance strong
That love, which fails of perfect utterance here,
Lives on to fill the heavenly atmosphere
  With its immortal song.

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