Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
II. Parting and Absence
“FAREWELL! farewell!” is often heard
  From the lips of those who part:
’T is a whispered tone,—’t is a gentle word,
  But it springs not from the heart.
It may serve for the lover’s closing lay,        5
  To be sung ’neath a summer sky;
But give to me the lips that say
  The honest words, “Good-bye!”
“Adieu! adieu!” may greet the ear,
  In the guise of courtly speech:        10
But when we leave the kind and dear,
  ’T is not what the soul would teach.
Whene’er we grasp the hands of those
  We would have forever nigh,
The flame of Friendship bursts and glows        15
  In the warm, frank words, “Good-bye.”
The mother, sending forth her child
  To meet with cares and strife,
Breathes through her tears her doubts and fears
  For the loved one’s future life.        20
No cold “adieu,” no “farewell,” lives
  Within her choking sigh,
But the deepest sob of anguish gives,
  “God bless thee, boy! Good-bye!”
Go, watch the pale and dying one,        25
  When the glance hast lost its beam;
When the brow is cold as the marble stone,
  And the world a passing dream;
And the latest pressure of the hand,
  The look of the closing eye,        30
Yield what the heart must understand,
  A long, a last Good-bye.

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