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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

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

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

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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