Sarah Louisa Forten

The Separation

'Friend after friend departs.'
And they are gone-that little band
Of friends-the firm and true!
We feel the void which absence makes,
With joy, and sorrow too.
We joy that duties call them forth,
Clad in an armor bright;
With shield of faith, their surest guard,
And sword of truth and light.
We bid God speed their parting steps,
And bless the righteous cause:-
Where'er the path of duty points,
May duty never pause.
And yet, we sorrow most of all
And from the heart deplore
That we perchance on earth again
May see these friends no more.
Their works shall live when other deeds,
Which ask a nation's fame,
Have sunk beneath Time's whelming wave,
Unhonored and unnamed.
--Dec. 9th, 1833.

Note: Forten wrote this poem after an anti-slavery convention in Philadelphia.