NAY, comrade, 't is a weary path we tread
Through this world’s desert spaces, dull and dry,
And long ago died out youth’s morning red,
And low the sunset fires before us lie:
And you are worn, though brave the face you wear.
Forbear the deprecating gesture, take
The honest admiration that I bear
Your genius, and be mute, for friendship’s sake.
Up to your lips I lift a generous wine,
Pure, perfumed, potent, living, sparkling bright,
A deep cup, brimming with a draught divine;
Drink, then, and be refreshed with my delight.
It gladdens you? You know the gift sincere?
You dreamed not life yet held a thing so sweet?
Nay, noble friend, your thanks I will not hear,
But I shall cast my roses at your feet,
And go my way rejoicing that ’t is I
Who recognize, acknowledge, judge you best,
Proud that a star so steadfast lights the sky,
And in the power of blessing you most blest.
Celia Thaxter.