We meet in a sorrowful land
That is hard by the gates of death--
A smile, and a touch of the hand,
As the sunset's flaming brand
Flickers and fails in the west
With the day-wind's dying breath--
'Tis the most we may dare, and best.
They say that the passion is cold--
That the flame is dead in the heart;
"Good friends, that have loved of old,
Once more, in the sunset gold,
Meet with a clasp of the hand,
Nod and dream and depart--"
Ah, love, 'tis a sorrowful land!
I that have walked in a cloud,
You that have wept in the sun--
Wrinkled and wearied and bowed,
Cover the wound! Be proud!
Laugh--be it Hell the while--
That the world, ere the Hell be done,
May watch with a kindly smile.