A Parting-Scene

The two pale women cried,
But the man seemed to suffer more,
Which he strove hard to hide.
They stayed in the waiting-room, behind the door,
Till startled by the entering engine-roar,
As if they could not bear to have unfurled
Their misery to the eyes of all the world.

A soldier and his young wife
Were the couple; his mother the third,
Who had seen the seams of life.
He was sailing for the East I later heard.
— They kissed long, but they did not speak a word;
Then, strained, he went. To the elder the wife in tears
" Too long; too long!" burst out. ('Twas for five years.)
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