by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

The meeting
Language: English 
Available translation(s): ITA
After so long an absence
  At last we meet again:
Does the meeting give us pleasure,
  Or does it give us pain? 

The tree of life has been shaken,
  And but few of us linger now,
Like the Prophet's two or three berries
  In the top of the uppermost bough. 

We cordially greet each other
  In the old, familiar tone;
And we think, though we do not say it,
  How old and gray he is grown! 

We speak of a Merry Christmas
  And many a Happy New Year
But each in his heart is thinking
  Of those that are not here. 

We speak of friends and their fortunes,
  And of what they did and said,
Till the dead alone seem living,
  And the living alone seem dead. 

And at last we hardly distinguish
  Between the ghosts and the guests;
And a mist and shadow of sadness
  Steals over our merriest jests.

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "La riunione", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-06-20
Line count: 24
Word count: 151