When Wearily We Shrink Away

When wearily we shrink away
From comrades forward striving,
And drop behind where once we strove
High schemes no more contriving
Though feeling but chance contact bred
Their slight concern about us,
Still seems it sad they all whirl on
Nor think they whirl without us.

When worn by fondness unrepaid,
We class all friends together,
As passage-birds who leave us lone
At close of summer weather;
Nor ask or hear of them, and they
Ne'er ask or hear about us,
The punishment is hard, to see
They love so well without us.

'Tis not that, lacking us, they love
Which touches then most keenly,
But that, un-noting whom they lack
They still love on serenely;
That e'en they fail to note they lack
Their own old thoughts about us;
That hardly would they, might they note
They thus love on without us.
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