After Long Years
"Sunt lacrimae rerum, et mentem mortalia tangunt"
After long lapse of years I tread again
The little frontier town's familiar ways,
And on the mingled new and old I gaze
With joy that strives against a surging pain.
I see old friends worn with life's struggle and strain:
The little children of those far off days
Bring their own broods for me to pet and praise;
And, ah! how many a face I seek in vain.
Till as in dream I wander to and fro,
With ghosts of dead companions at my side.
"Why art thou spared to live?" they murmur low:
"Why shouldst thou see the light, while we abide
In darkness?" O beloved! your taunts forbear:
Soon I with you the sunless house must share.