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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

394                        Poems                    f

You have a racking cough and your lungs are^veak,
But out, out into the night you go,

So guide you and guard you Heaven and fare you well!

We have been three lights to one another and now we are two,
For you go far and alone into the darkness ;
But the light in you was stronger and clearer than ours,
For you came straighter from God and, whereas we had

learned,

You had never forgotten.   Three minutes more and then
Out, out into the night you go,

So guide you and guard you Heaven and fare you well!

Never a cross look, never a thought,

Never a word that had better been left unspoken ;

We gave you the best we had, such as it was,

It pleased you well, for you smiled and nodded your head ;

And now, out, out into the night you go,

So guide you and guard you Heaven and fare you well!

You said we were a little weak that the three of us wept,

Are we then weak if we laugh when we are glad ?

When men are under the knife let them roar as they will,

So that they flinch not.

Therefore let tears flow on, for so long as we live

No such second sorrow shall ever draw nigh us,

Till one of us two leaves the other alone

And goes out, out, out into the night,

So guard the one that is left, 0 God, and fare him well!

Yet for the great bitterness of this grief

\Ve three, you and he and I,

May pass into the hearts of like true comrades hereafter,

In whom we may weep anew and yet comfort them,

As they too pass out, out, out into the night,

So guide them and guard them Heaven and fare them
well!

The minutes have flown and he whom we loved is gone,
The like of whom we never again shall see ;
The wind is heavy with snow and the sea rough,
He has a racking cough and his lungs are weak.