Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
 
Occasional Poems
“The Laurels”
 
At the twentieth and last anniversary

FROM these wild rocks I look to-day
  O’er leagues of dancing waves, and see
The far, low coast-line stretch away
  To where our river meets the sea.
 
The light wind blowing off the land        5
  Is burdened with old voices; through
Shut eyes I see how lip and hand
  The greeting of old days renew.
 
O friends whose hearts still keep their prime,
  Whose bright example warms and cheers,        10
Ye teach us how to smile at Time,
  And set to music all his years!
 
I thank you for sweet summer days,
  For pleasant memories lingering long,
For joyful meetings, fond delays,        15
  And ties of friendship woven strong.
 
As for the last time, side by side,
  You tread the paths familiar grown,
I reach across the severing tide,
  And blend my farewells with your own.        20
 
Make room, O river of our home!
  For other feet in place of ours,
And in the summers yet to come,
  Make glad another Feast of Flowers!
 
Hold in thy mirror, calm and deep,        25
  The pleasant pictures thou hast seen;
Forget thy lovers not, but keep
  Our memory like thy laurels green.

  ISLES OF SHOALS, 7th mo., 1870.
 
 
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