Palinode

Still thirteen years: 'tis autumn now
On field and hill, in heart and brain;
The naked trees at evening sough;
The leaf to the forsaken bough
Sighs not,- '_Auf wiedersehen!_'

Two watched yon oriole's pendent dome,
That now is void, and dank with rain,
And one,- oh, hope more frail than foam!
The bird to his deserted home
Sings not,- '_Auf wiedersehen!_'

The loath gate swings with rusty creak;
Once, parting there, we played at pain:
There came a parting, when the weak
And fading lips essayed to speak
Vainly,- '_Auf wiedersehen!_'

Somewhere is comfort, somewhere faith,
Though thou in outer dark remain;
One sweet sad voice ennobles death,
And still, for eighteen centuries saith
Softly,- '_Auf wiedersehen!_'

If earth another grave must bear,
Yet heaven hath won a sweeter strain,
And something whispers my despair,
That, from an orient chamber there,
Floats down, '_Auf wiedersehen!_'

by James Russell Lowell

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