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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Separation of Friends

By John Henry Newman (1801–1890)

From ‘Lyra Apostolica’

DO not their souls who ’neath the Altar wait

Until their second birth,

The gift of patience need, as separate

From their first friends of earth?

Not that earth’s blessings are not all outshone

By Eden’s angel flame,

But that earth knows not yet the dead has won

That crown which was his aim.

For when he left it, ’twas a twilight scene

About his silent bier,

A breathless struggle, faith and sight between,

And Hope and sacred Fear.

Fear startled at his pains and dreary end,

Hope raised her chalice high,

And the twin sisters still his shade attend,

Viewed in the mourner’s eye.

So day by day for him from earth ascends,

As dew in summer even,

The speechless intercession of his friends

Toward the azure heaven.

Ah! dearest, with a word he could dispel

All questioning, and raise

Our hearts to rapture, whispering all was well,

And turning prayer to praise.

And other secrets too he could declare,

By patterns all divine,

His earthly creed retouching here and there,

And deepening every line.

Dearest! he longs to speak, as I to know,

And yet we both refrain:

It were not good; a little doubt below,

And all will soon be plain.