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Songs of the Makers of Canada
A Canticle of Mortality


Deireadh gacli comuinn, sgaoiieadh; deireadh gach cogaidh; sith ("The end of all meetings, parting; the end of all striving, peace ").—From the Gaelic.

We knew him well in life, and many a day
He parsed us on his way,
With cheery greeting, to and fro;
But now he lay Pondering the saffron sun sink low
Behind the blue-grey hills.
We thought to hear him murmur of the ills
Our humankind must know
From day to day;
And with his parting breath deny
The plentitude
Of earthly good.

But lie whose hour had come to die
Turned on his latest bed And blithely said:
"It one should miss me, friends, and ask if I am dead,
Let no regretful tears bedim your eye:
Just smile!
And say that I've gone on ahead awhile.

"Tears are the unwelcome gift of those whose sight
Discerns not through the shrouding night
The glory of the God-sent light
Of that immortal sun
"Which shines o'er Avalon,*—
Fair paradisal home where they who fly
Man's mortal days live ever on
And tread In larger ways; and there shall I
Wait, friends, for you
Till your own life be through.
But should one miss me soon, and ask if I am dead,
Let no regretful tears bedim your eye:
Just smile!
And say that I've gone on ahead awhile!"


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