Friends No Longer [poem by Agnes Neale]

[Editor: This poem by Agnes Neale was published in Shadows and Sunbeams (1890).]

Friends No Longer.

[These words were set to music by Mr. S. Milbourn, Jun.]

Friends no longer; is it true or seeming?
Has the silken cord, then, parted quite?
Friends no longer; are our souls but dreaming?
Friends no longer — did we hear aright?
Is the tie between us quite, quite broken;
Is the gulf too wide, too deep to pass;
Are the words irrevocably spoken,
Will the gathered storm-clouds never pass?

Friends no longer, yet the wattle’s blooming
Hang their golden balls to greet the light;
But I only hear the wind’s sad moaning,
Only see the shadows of the night.

Only yesterday we were not parted,
Now, to-day we stand so wide apart;
I was proud, the salt tears never started
Though the words you uttered wrung my heart.
Shall we ever bridge the awful distance
Yawning now our severed ways between,
Or go onward still in blind persistence —
Will things never be as they have been?

Friends no longer; oh, I think that never
Were such words of bitter anguish said,
When in sorrow our farewell was spoken,
All life’s hope and all life’s joy fell dead.

Agnes Neale, Shadows and Sunbeams, Adelaide: Burden & Bonython, 1890, pages 53-54

Editor’s notes:
aright = in the correct way; correctly, properly, rightly

jun. = an abbreviation of “junior”, especially used as an appendage to someone’s name (normally a male) to indicate that he is the son of someone of the same name, whilst the father’s name may be appended with the abbreviation “snr.” to indicate that he is the senior of the two (e.g. “John Smith, snr., and John Smith, jun.”)

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