However, the poem I shared in my Piker Press article, linked yesterday, is one I have known longer and felt more deeply. I first read it when I was in college, on a greeting card, of all things. My life to that point had been mostly tragedy-free, but I understood that all of the trials mentioned in the poem would probably happen to me, and happen over and over, and that I could get through them with the help of friends.
Sadly, these words came to mind today when I heard of the sudden, unexplained death of a friend, and when I talked to other people who remembered her.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.