Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAST POST OF SAMADEN, by JOHN LAWSON STODDARD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE LAST POST OF SAMADEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Good-bye, old post! It is decreed
Last Line: Good-bye, old post, good-bye!
Subject(s): Bugles; Farewell; Past; Parting

Good-bye, old Post! It is decreed
That thou must vanish from the scene;
Hereafter there will be no need
For thee within the Engadine;
To-morrow the supplanting train
Will swiftly glide from height to height;
O Postman, sound one parting strain, --
A farewell to the summer night!

Blow, bugle! From on high
The mountain peaks reply:
Good-bye, old Post, good-bye!

What means that crowd within the square?
And this black flag on every horse?
Why plays the band a plaintive air
To celebrate thy final course?
Can there be some who still regret
The passing of a thing so slow?
Is there a little pity yet
For simple ways of long ago?

Sound, bugle! In reply
Tears fall from many an eye:
Good-bye, old Post, good-bye!

The last pathetic driver stands
Bewildered by the dreaded end, --
His worn whip still within his hands,
As if it were his only friend;
The horses mutely wonder why
They now are tenderly caressed,
And why the strangers, passing by,
All wish for them a well-earned rest.

Call, bugle! Far and nigh
The echoing cliffs reply:
Good-bye, old Post, good-bye!

The village magistrate appears,
As slowly strikes the midnight hour,
And rouses oft-repeated cheers
By prophecies of wealth and power;
Why should Samaden, magnified,
Lament her quaint, romantic past?
With time, alas! all tears are dried,
And what is old can never last!

Cease, bugle! For reply
How few now even sigh:
Good-bye, old Post, good-bye!

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