I Have Been Greeted By Long Absent Friends

I have been greeted by long absent friends
and loved the starting pleasure in their eyes;
have known the silence as the singer ends,
holding the listeners dumb with ecstasies;
have filled my nostrils from the opening rose,
have shouted verse, exulting down the wind,
have gazed at moonlit water as it flows,
and morning mountains with the sun behind;
have felt the blessed ease that follows pain,
and heard great tides of music as they sweep;
have found lost infant memories again,
seen Heaven-visiting children fast asleep.
I summon up these joys, each one apart-
and I have held my love against my heart.

by Richard Elwes

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