Dear friend, although I scarcely knew thee well,
I hear that thou hast met that reaper fell
As makes men brethren in his scythe's cruel sweep,
Even as for thee—for myself—I weep;
Weep less because the premonition of
Mine own portending doom, than unmet love,
Philia, as may be in passing shared,
Even as vain ambitions seldom spared.
For what is death, but poets' kin and kith?
What we ourselves, but weavers of a myth
That time must rend anon? We surely go,
And lose in passing all that we may know.
Yours was a poet's soul, if not in deed
In aspiration, its vibration keyed
To all the finer trappings of our journey;
Yet my words plead no case, I no attorney.
Heaven—if there be heaven—opens wide
Its gates to one whose spirit never died
As even by my witness I attest
Now that thy vacant body lies in rest.
Farewell, dear friend, save in my memory,
And in the hearts bereaved now grieving thee:
Though thou departest, with us yet remains
Love's blessing, compensation for these pains.