After the supper and talk--after the day is done,
As a friend from friends his final withdrawal prolonging,
Good-bye and Good-bye with emotional lips repeating,
(So hard for his hand to release those hands--no more will they meet,
No more for communion of sorrow and joy, of old and young,
A far-stretching journey awaits him, to return no more,)
Shunning, postponing severance--seeking to ward off the last word
ever so little,
E'en at the exit-door turning--charges superfluous calling back--
e'en as he descends the steps,
Something to eke out a minute additional--shadows of nightfall deepening,
Farewells, messages lessening--dimmer the forthgoer's visage and form,
Soon to be lost for aye in the darkness--loth, O so loth to depart!
Garrulous to the very last.