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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Separation of Friends
By John Henry Newman (1801–1890)
 
From ‘Lyra Apostolica’

DO not their souls who ’neath the Altar wait
        Until their second birth,
The gift of patience need, as separate
        From their first friends of earth?
Not that earth’s blessings are not all outshone        5
        By Eden’s angel flame,
But that earth knows not yet the dead has won
        That crown which was his aim.
For when he left it, ’twas a twilight scene
        About his silent bier,        10
A breathless struggle, faith and sight between,
        And Hope and sacred Fear.
Fear startled at his pains and dreary end,
        Hope raised her chalice high,
And the twin sisters still his shade attend,        15
        Viewed in the mourner’s eye.
So day by day for him from earth ascends,
        As dew in summer even,
The speechless intercession of his friends
        Toward the azure heaven.        20
Ah! dearest, with a word he could dispel
        All questioning, and raise
Our hearts to rapture, whispering all was well,
        And turning prayer to praise.
And other secrets too he could declare,        25
        By patterns all divine,
His earthly creed retouching here and there,
        And deepening every line.
Dearest! he longs to speak, as I to know,
        And yet we both refrain:        30
It were not good; a little doubt below,
        And all will soon be plain.
 
 
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