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.
 
At Sundown
O. W. Holmes on his Eightieth Birthday
 
CLIMBING a path which leads back never more
  We heard behind his footsteps and his cheer;
Now, face to face, we greet him standing here
Upon the lonely summit of Fourscore!
Welcome to us, o’er whom the lengthened day        5
  Is closing and the shadows colder grow,
  His genial presence, like an afterglow,
Following the one just vanishing away.
Long be it ere the table shall be set
  For the last breakfast of the Autocrat,        10
  And love repeat with smiles and tears thereat
His own sweet songs that time shall not forget.
Waiting with us the call to come up higher,
Life is not less, the heavens are only nigher!
 
 
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