I BADE two friends of mine farewell to-day.
One sailed at noon; and while the shores around
Echoed reverberant with mingled sound,
Voices and bells and iron-throated bray
Of enginery, the great ship moved away,
And less’ning outward passed our vision’s bound.
Then while her trail yet stained the skies, I found
A chamber where a wan-faced pilgrim lay,
Bound home. No voices stirred the tranquil air ;
In silence loosed he from this alien sod,
And, smiling backward, forth alone did fare,
Yea, while we watched, Death’s waiting decks had trod,
Sighed twice, and, ere we knew him gone, was there —
So near is Heaven, so short the road to God.
William Harvey Woods.