Walt Whitman: After the Supper and Talk

After the Supper and Talk

After the supper and talk—after the day is done, As a friend from friends his final withdrawal prolonging, Good-bye and Good-bye with emotional lips repeating, (So hard for his hand to release those hands—no more will they meet, No more for communion of sorrow and joy, of old and young, A far-stretching journey awaits him, to return no more,) Shunning, postponing severance—seeking to ward off the last word     ever so little, E'en at the exit-door turning—charges superfluous calling back—     e'en as he descends the steps, Something to eke out a minute additional—shadows of nightfall deepening, Farewells, messages lessening—dimmer the forthgoer's visage and form, Soon to be lost for aye in the darkness—loth, O so loth to depart! Garrulous to the very last.