After the Supper and Talk

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from Leaves of Grass: BOOK XXXIV. SANDS AT SEVENTY - by Walt Whitman.

  After the supper and talk—after the day is done,
  As a friend from friends his final withdrawal prolonging,
  Good-bye and Good-bye with emotional lips repeating,
  (So hard for his hand to release those hands—no more will they meet,
  No more for communion of sorrow and joy, of old and young,
  A far-stretching journey awaits him, to return no more,)
  Shunning, postponing severance—seeking to ward off the last word
      ever so little,
  E’en at the exit-door turning—charges superfluous calling back—
      e’en as he descends the steps,
  Something to eke out a minute additional—shadows of nightfall deepening,
  Farewells, messages lessening—dimmer the forthgoer’s visage and form,
  Soon to be lost for aye in the darkness—loth, O so loth to depart!
  Garrulous to the very last.

 

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