Poetry of Kansas

Friends That I Used To Know.

The storm of the day is past;
    The rain has a fainter sound,
Yet low-hung clouds their misty skirts
    Trail over the sodden ground.
The heavy twilight falls;
    The clouds trail more and more,
And the early darkness stealthily creeps
    Up to the farmhouse door.
I sit, in the gathering night,
    By the fire___it is burning low___
And think, with a longing akin to pain,
    Of the friends that I used to know.
And a thrilling vision sweeps
    Through the chambers of my brain;
Gone are the mist, the darkening room,
    And the prairies soaked with rain.
I see the friends I love,
    (I shall love them evermore)
And I look in their eyes and clasp their hands,
    Beneath a vine-wreathed door,
Yonder are the wood-crowned hills,
    Flaming with gold and red;
I hear the brawl of a fretting brook,
    Swollen high in its rocky bed.
The orchard, the willow hedge,
    The pasture with cows, and the well,
The giant hickory near the gate,
    On guard, like a sentinel.
I see all these, as I stand
    In the autumn's sunset glow,
And talk and listen, with throbbing heart,
    To the friends I used to know.
I start___and the vision fades,
    The fire is dead, and the light
Is gone from the dripping and darkened panes:
    I sit alone in the night.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Page 194-195

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March 17, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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