(c) 2014 Drew Nicholson
We have come here now because you’re leaving soon to go away
and we could not pass this chance up now to spend some time and play,
for the world without you here will be a pale and quiet place
without all the smiles and laughter that were always on your face.
Now it’s time for your long voyage, time to walk slow down the road
we will take up your old burdens as your carry your new load
see lost lovers and new brothers disappear beneath the sky…
though the journey’s dark and dangerous, we will not say goodbye.
You have labored long besides us and your time’s been full and glad
when the world has dealt us sorrow, you’ve helped us to not be sad
so we gather one last time to celebrate your place with us —
bright and laughing, for we will not contemplate our coming loss.
Long farewells are hard to handle, short goodbyes are all too brief,
but we could not let you steal into the night, a common thief,
you’re a brother and a father and a lover and a friend
and you’ll always have a place with us, where ever you’ve been sent
Now we’ll gather round and raise a glass in this, a final toast
and when years have passed you’ll tell grandchildren of our greatest boast
of the days when birds sang symphonies, and all love was love true…
and we’ll tell about when we were young and strong and we knew you.
So we’ve all come here to tell you, may the wind be at your back,
when you’ve left, we’ll all sit quietly, reflecting on the lack,
and when you return we’ll go and light the torch and ring the bell
but for now we will not say goodbye… we’ll simply wave farewell.