William Stanley Braithwaite

(1872-1962 / United States)

To Arthur Upson


How placidly this silent river rolls
Under the midnight stars before our feet,
While we chant music of dead poets' souls
The treasury of Time has made so sweet.
This is my Charles, O Friend! the loving nurse
Of a boy's heart who dreamed life would be worse
Than death, if he gave not in future years
Some few more songs to those this river bears.
Ah, here we sit, the boy's heart grown to man's ---
Westward from Cambridge, hid among the hills,
Breaks forth its source no wider than your
hands; ---
How like our own experience it fills
Here at this point its widening banks, as we
Grow out to fill our duties, to the sea!
Here all the night is on us with its stars;
The pregnant silence tapers to a sound;
The river's crossed with pulsing silver bars
The distant lights reflect; upon this mound
We sit through this eternal hour of time
And read the book our souls have writ in rhyme:
Youth's golden chapters done in poetry ---
But where this river here runs on to sea
By muddy flats, stone walls, and wharves that
close
The glad impulsive welcome of its home,
So henceforth shall Time write our acts in prose;
Yea, and when God adds
Finis
to the tome,
This Dedicatory night our souls will blend,
To show, though life, true Friendship cannot
end.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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