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[221] And some have gone the unknown way,
     And some await the call to rest;
Who knoweth whether it is best
     For those who went or those who stay?

And yet despite of loss and ill,
     If faith and love and hope remain,
Our length of days is not in vain,
     And life is well worth living still.

Still to a gracious Providence
     The thanks of grateful hearts are due,
For blessings when our lives were new,
     For all the good vouchsafed us since.

The pain that spared us sorer hurt,
     The wish denied, the purpose crossed,
And pleasure's fond occasions lost,
     Were mercies to our small desert.

Tis something that we wander back,
     Gray pilgrims, to our ancient ways,
And tender memories of old days
     Walk with us by the Merrimac;

That even in life's afternoon
     A sense of youth comes back again,
As through this cool September rain
     The still green woodlands dream of June.

The eyes grown dim to present things
     Have keener sight for bygone years,
And sweet and clear, in deafening ears,
     The bird that sang at morning sings.

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