The Laurels

FROM these wild rocks I look to-day
O'er leagues of dancing waves, and see
The far, low coast-line stretch away
To where our river meets the sea.

The light wind blowing off the land
Is burdened with old voices; through
Shut eyes I see how lip and hand
The greeting of old days renew.

O friends whose hearts still keep their prime,
Whose bright example warms and cheers,
Ye teach us how to smile at Time,
And set to music all his years!

I thank you for sweet summer days,
For pleasant memories lingering long,
For joyful meetings, fond delays,
And ties of friendship woven strong.

As for the last time, side by side,
You tread the paths familiar grown,
I reach across the severing tide,
And blend my farewells with your own.

Make room, O river of our home!
For other feet in place of ours,
And in the summers yet to come,
Make glad another Feast of Flowers!

Hold in thy mirror, calm and deep,
The pleasant pictures thou hast seen;
Forget thy lovers not, but keep
Our memory like thy laurels green.

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John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier was an influential American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. more…

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"The Laurels" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 14 Nov. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/23132/the-laurels>.

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