Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/220

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214 AT LAST.

Then human atoms outward spilled

On branching walks and vagrant ways

Some by Love s waiting magnets drawn Out from the shifting, tangled maze ;

Some, all unclaimed by love or law, Went drifting slowly here and there,

To find within some hostelrie

The semblance of Love s home and care.

There, till the last faint echo fell, An old man waited, worn and gray,

Watching the faces as they passed, In hungry, searching, wistful way.

The trackmen tell of vigil kept

Through counted days of many years

Waiting at morning, noon and night, Untouched by unbelieving sneers

Waiting, with faith most woman-like, The boy who left him long ago

Waiting the trains as one by one

From West to East each day they go.

The wand rer sought the Golden Gate Beyond it where he went, who knows ;

They whisper softly, He has gone,

Out through the gate that don t unclose."

And yet the old man keeps his faith : " My boy is living, well I know ;

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