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Friends Departed

They are all gone into the world of light!
  And I alone sit lingering here!
Their very memory is fair and bright,
  And my sad thoughts doth clear.

It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast Like stars upon some gloomy grove, Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest After the Sun's remove.

I see them walking in an air of glory, Whose light doth trample on my days; My days, which are at best but dull and hoary, Mere glimmerings and decays.

O holy hope! and high humility! High as the Heavens above! These are your walks, and you have show'd them me, To kindle my cold love.

Dear, beauteous Death; the jewel of the just! Shining nowhere but in the dark; What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust, Could man outlook that mark!

He that hath found some fledged birdes nest may know At first sight if the bird be flown; But what fair dell or grove he sings in now, That is to him unknown.

And yet, as Angels in some brighter dreams Call to the soul when man doth sleep, So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes, And into glory peep.

_--H. Vaughan_

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