After the Quarrel
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
[from Lyrics of Lowly Life, 1896]
To-night must lay our friendship by;
Your wrath has burned your judgment up,
Hot breath has blown the ashes high.
You say that you are wronged–ah, well,
I count that friendship poor, at best
A bauble, a mere bagatelle,
That cannot stand so slight a test.
I fain would still have been your friend,
And talked and laughed and loved with you;
But since it must, why, let it end;
The false but dies, ‘t is not the true.
So we are favored, you and I,
Who only want the living truth.
It was not good to nurse the lie;
‘T is well it died in harmless youth.
I go from you to-night to sleep.
Why, what’s the odds? why should I grieve?
I have no fund of tears to weep
For happenings that undeceive.
The days shall come, the days shall go
Just as they came and went before.
The sun shall shine, the streams shall flow
Though you and I are friends no more.
And in the volume of my years,
Where all my thoughts and acts shall be,
The page whereon your name appears
Shall be forever sealed to me.
Not that I hate you over-much,
‘T is less of hate than love defied;
Howe’er, our hands no more shall touch,
We’ll go our ways, the world is wide.
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