Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SALUTE, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON



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SALUTE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We, about to die, salute you kindly
Last Line: We, the elders, hail our brothers young!
Subject(s): Death; Dreams; Hearts; Hope; Love; Sleep; Dead, The; Nightmares; Optimism


WE, about to die, salute you kindly, --
We, the very old, hail you, the young,
Though the shows of earth we see but blindly,
And a leaden weight is on our tongue.

But our old wan hearts expand in pleasure,
Watching how your spirits kindle bright;
And we dream us back to springtime treasure,
Dim dead ardors, ghosts of gone delight.

We relive in you the chances splendid,
All the buffetings and all the gains;
O the sense of time and time unended,
Ere the hope dies, ere the wonder wanes!

How you love and fight and taste of rapture,
How your sleep restores you to the sun,
How the sweet of every hour you capture
Haughtily, as heroes e'er have done!

We have lived and loved, as you are doing;
We are glad to see you run the race;
Half you seem ourselves, -- your work, your wooing,
Your high stakes of glory or disgrace.

Hail! Farewell! nor blame us if a sadness
Clutches at our throat the while we gaze
Brokenly, through tears, upon that gladness
Once was ours in exquisite old days.

Not one bliss nor belief would we dispute you:
Once for us as well the whole earth sung.
We, about to die, again salute you, --
We, the elders, hail our brothers young!





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