After so long an absence
At last we meet agin:
Does the meeting give us pleasure,
Or does it give us pain?

The tree of life has been shaken,
And but few of us linger now,
Like the prophets two or three berries
In the top of the uppermost bough.

We cordially greet each other
In the old, familiar tone;
And we think, though we do not say it,
How old and gray he is grown!

We speak of a Merry Christmas
And many a Happy New Year;
But each in his heart is thinking
Of those that are not here.

We speak of friends and their fortunes,
And of what they did and said,
Till the dead alone seem living,
And the living alone seem dead.

And at last we hardly distinguish
Between the ghosts and the guests;
And a mist and shadow of sadness
Steals over our merriest jests.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Meeting

1 Comment

  1. Camille says:

    I am currently analyzing this poem for an English project. This poem caught my eye because it is about the holidays, and we all know that special time of year is right around the corner. The more I read into this poem, the more I love it. It shows us not to dwell on the past because that only brings a feeling of nostalgia. You should be greatful for what and who you have in your life now.

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