To my hand thou com’st at last,
Wand of ebon, tipped with gold,—
Often carried in the past
By a hand that now lies cold
In his grave beyond the sea,
Many thousand miles from me.
Faithful staff! for many years
Thou didst travel far and wide
Through a life of smiles and tears,—
Rarely absent from his side,
As the light of day for him
Grew pathetically dim.
When with thee he walked abroad,
Every crossing, every stair
By thy touch was first explored,
Ere his feet were planted there,
With a sort of rhythmic beat
On the pavement of the street.
Hence, when brought to face the gloom
Of a way, to all unknown,
Called to leave his sunlit room
For death’s darkness, quite alone,
He instinctively again
Called to mind his faithful cane.
To whose grasp should it descend,
Since with him it could not go?
Surely no one save a friend
Would receive and prize it so!
Thus to me wast thou bequeathed,
To console a heart bereaved.
Friendship’s gift, belovd wand!
Thou shalt likewise go with me
To the shore of the Beyond,
To the dark, untravelled sea;
Only left upon the strand,
When my bark puts forth from land.