Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

In the Harbor

Auf Wiedersehen

  • In Memory of J. T. F.
  • In April, 1881, Mr. Longfellow notes in his diary: “A sorrowful and distracted week. Fields died on Sunday, the 24th. Palfrey died on Tuesday. Two intimate friends in one week!” The poem was written April 30, 1881.

  • UNTIL we meet again! That is the meaning

    Of the familiar words, that men repeat

    At parting in the street.

    Ah yes, till then! but when death intervening

    Rends us asunder, with what ceaseless pain

    We wait for the Again!

    The friends who leave us do not feel the sorrow

    Of parting, as we feel it, who must stay

    Lamenting day by day,

    And knowing, when we wake upon the morrow,

    We shall not find in its accustomed place

    The one beloved face.

    It were a double grief, if the departed,

    Being released from earth, should still retain

    A sense of earthly pain;

    It were a double grief, if the true-hearted,

    Who loved us here, should on the farther shore

    Remember us no more.

    Believing, in the midst of our afflictions,

    That death is a beginning, not an end,

    We cry to them, and send

    Farewells, that better might be called predictions,

    Being fore-shadowings of the future, thrown

    Into the vast Unknown.

    Faith overleaps the confines of our reason,

    And if by faith, as in old times was said,

    Women received their dead

    Raised up to life, then only for a season

    Our partings are, nor shall we wait in vain

    Until we meet again!