TWO SONGS AT PARTING, WRITTEN BY
JOHN BODKIN AND FRANCIS SHERMAN
AND PRIVATELY ISSUED FROM FREDER-
ICTION LATE IN THE WINTER OF 1899
O, LITTLE city by the blue St. John! I came to thee a lonely, batter’d man: I sought thee when my trust in men was gone, Moved by some accident of vagrant plan. I stayed and loved thee for thy broad repute, Mother of poets! And thy brave, straight ways Renewed me till my long-time silent lute. Throbb’d in my fingers as in those wild days When I did carol just for love of song. My second mother! I can tarry long Nowhere for my uneasy, wastrel bent: But, surely, if the flight be to the strong, Then shall I come to thee, and age among Thy wise, stanch people and thy proud content.
AND after many days (for I shall keep These old things unforgotten, nevertheless!) My lids at last, feeling thy faint caress, Shall open, April, to the wooded sweep Of Northern hills; and my slow blood shall leap And surge, for joy and very wantonness— Like Northern waters when thy feet possess The valleys, and the green year wakes from sleep. That morn the drowsy South, as we go forth (Unseen thy hand in mine; I, seen of all) Will marvel that I seek the outmost quay,— The while, gray leagues away, a new-born North Harkens with wonder to thy rapturous call For some old lover down across the sea. F.S.