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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Miscellaneous Poems. I. Friends (“Friend after friend departs”)

James Montgomery (1771–1854)


FRIEND after friend departs:

Who hath not lost a friend?

There is no union here of hearts,

Which finds not here an end.

Were this frail world our only rest,

Living or dying, none were blest.

Beyond the flight of time,

Beyond the vale of death,

There surely is some blessèd clime

Where life is not a breath;

Nor life’s affections, transient fire,

Whose sparks fly upwards and expire.

There is a world above,

Where parting is unknown;

A whole eternity of love,

Form’d for the good alone;

And faith beholds the dying here

Translated to that glorious sphere.

Thus star by star declines,

Till all are pass’d away;

As morning high and higher shines

To pure and perfect day:

Nor sink those stars in empty night,

They hide themselves in heaven’s own light.