Old Chums

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

"If I die first," my old chum paused to say,
"Mind! not a whimper of regret: - instead,
Laugh and be glad, as I shall. - Being dead,
I shall not lodge so very far away
But that our mirth shall mingle. - So, the day
The word comes, joy with me." "I'll try," I said,
Though, even speaking, sighed and shook my head
And turned, with misted eyes. His roundelay
Rang gaily on the stair; and then the door
Opened and - closed. . . . Yet something of the clear,
Hale hope, and force of wholesome faith he had
Abided with me - strengthened more and more. -
Then - then they brought his broken body here:
And I laughed - whisperingly - and we were glad.

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