Scottish Poetry Selection
- Absent Friends

By coincidence, I first read this Walter Wingate poem on a day on which I had met an old school friend (whom I had not met for nearly 50 years) so I knew exactly what the poet meant here.

Absent Friends

My heart absorbs me more and more;
My world of friendship narrows in.
The new I hardly care to win;
The old are fewer than of yore.

But in the space from eve till morn,
Affection, cramped upon the nest,
In wider ranging finds a rest;
And I am not so friend-forlorn.

For never one have I forgot;
Their voices in my heart I hear;
I am myself their souvenir;
We shaped each other, thought with thought.

At times a merry meet we hold:
At times upon my mind is left
That aftermath of the bereft,
Regret for kindness overcold.

New flowers on April's breast they see,
New stars about the winter moon:
And new delights may change the tune
That keeps the old refrain for me.

If friendship there has changed its stream
To feed the homestead where they live,
If they forget, I must forgive:
Yet rather will I trust my dream;

My dream, that nightly soars above
The barriers of time and space,
To watch their gaze upon my face
Till recognition leaps to love.

Return to the Index of Walter Wingate Poems or the General Index of Scottish Poetry

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