Ave Atque Vale

By Nora May French

It gathers where the moody sky is bending.
   It stirs the air along familiar waysó
A sigh for strange things forever ending.
   For beauty shrinking in these alien days.

Now nothing is the same; old visions move me:
   I wander silent through the waning land.
And find for youth and little leaves to love me
   The old, old lichen crumbling in my hand.

What shifting films of distance fold you, blind you.
   The windy eve of dreams, I cannot tell.
I know they grope through some strange mist to find you.
   My hands that give you Greeting and Farewell.