Faithful friends! It lies, I know,
Pale and white and cold as snow;
Yet I smile and whisper this, --
"I am not the thing you kiss;
Cease your tears, and let it lie;
It was mine, it is not I."
I am gone before your face,
A moment's time, a little space.
When ye come where I have stepped
Ye will wonder why ye wept.
Sweet friends! What the women lave
For its last bed of the grave,
Is but a hut which I am quitting,
Is a garment no more fitting,
Is a cage from which, at last,
Like a hawk my soul hath passed.
Love the inmate, not the room, --
The wearer, not the garb, -- the plume
Of the falcon, not the bars
Which kept him from those splendid stars.