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No. 55 (June 1966)
– 58 –

FOR AN OLD MAN DYING

Go down, old friend,
to warm beaches where the sand
still speaks of your young love;
where the smoke of ancient fires
still stings in the nostrils.

Go down, old friend,
where heaps of long opened shells
glitter in the light of old moons;
where the music of forgotten songs
lingers in the listening ear.

Go down, old friend,
to the circle of familiar faces
which opens to make room for you.
Tell the old tales in their first
flush of fresh and bawdy life;
make music again on broken strings.

Leave us,
for our fires have all burned out
and only their grey smoke drifts
in a shadowy and indefinite dawn.
Leave us as our new canoes
move out from familiar shores
drifting upon inconsequent tides.

Frederick C. Parmée