There may be comrades in this world,
As stanch and true as steel.
There are: and by their friendships firm
Is life made only real.
But, after all, of all these hearts
That close with mine entwine,
None lie so near, nor seem so dear
As this old pipe of mine.
My silent friend--whose voice is held
Fast for my ear alone--
Stays with me always, well content,
With Darby to be Joan.
No fickleness disturbs our lot;
No jars its peace to smother;
Ah, no; my faithful pipe and I
Have wooed and won--each other.
On clouds of curling incense sweet,
We go--my pipe and I--
To lands far off, where skies stay blue
Through all the years that fly.
And nights and days, with rosy dreams
Teems bright--an endless throng
That passing leave, in echoing wake,
Soft murmurings of song.
Does this dream fade? Another comes
To fill its place and more.
In castles silvern roam we now,
They're ours! All! All are ours!
What'er the wreathing rings enfold
Drops shimmering golden showers!
No sordid cost our steps can stay,
We travel free as air.
Our wings are fancies, incense-borne,
That feather-light upbear.
Begone! ye powers of steam and flood.
Thy roads creep far too slow;
We need thee not. My pipe and I
Swifter than Time must go.
Why, what is this? The pipe gone out?
Well, well, the fire's out, too!
The dreams are gone--we're poor once more;
Life's pain begins anew.
'Tis time for sleep, my faithful pipe,
But may thy dreamings be,
Through slumbering hours hued as bright
As those thou gav'st to me!
ELTON J. BUCKLEY.