Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RECOGNITION, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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First Line: O friend of other days'
Last Line: O friend of other days -- to come!

"O FRIEND of other days" --
You start, at our first meeting,
To hear the cordial greeting,
And search the past for warrant of the phrase,
"My soul, " you say, "have I forgot
Some memorable hour and spot
When, with long-clasping hand
And confident demand,
Mine eye its tribute took
In level, lingering look?
Or, in some age of yore
Trod we this path before?"

But why look back for treasure? Many a star
Was undiscovered once. Our choicest good
Was erst an unseen angel; long she stood
So near we knew not and esteemed it far,
For what to her was veil to us was bar.
No, not quite yet that moment, rich but dumb,
Of friendship's troth the sum.
We tread the same path toward it: we but hear
The inland tide to know the ocean near.
'T is to the future, not the past, must be
Your staunchest loyalty,
O Friend of other days -- to come!

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