From The Birmingham Age Herald, July 25, 1915. By Allen Griffin Johnson.
Old friend, we’ve journeyed far and wide.
O’er rugged hills and hollows;
With yearning hearts, at eventide,
We’ve watched the homing swallows;
We’ve known that bitter grief and dole
That cry unheard to heaven,
Like some poor, hell-bound, tortured soul,
Condemned and unforgiven.
Through Sin’s fair vale, near Sorrow’s mart,
We’ve wandered free and joyous,
Where, hidden by the Tempter’s art,
Death waited to destroy us;
We’ve drunk life’s bitter and its sweet,
Have seen our castles tumbled
In ruins at our weary feet,
Yet smiled, nor even grumbled.
Our blood has sanguined many a field,
Though courage ne’er departed,
Nor foeman forced us yet to yield,
Nor either grown faint hearted;
We’ve known the peace of eventide,
When day’s hard fight had ended,
And sunset’s crimson glory died,
As earth and sky were blended.
Then, too, the bliss of sweet repose,
When real cares and seeming;
Depart, and life’s stream gently flows
To slumber’s land of Dreaming;
We’ve felt the fury of the blasts,
And known the calm succeeding,
Far sweeter for the storm that’s past—
A lesson worth the heeding.
We’ve known the warmth of Summer’s sun,
The blight of Winter’s weather,
And when, at last, our race is run,
We’ll leave the track—together;
Aye, hand and hand, as in the past,
We’ll journey o’er the river;
Together e’en unto the last—
Friends now and friends forever.