We were playmates long together,
By the brook and on the hill,
In the golden, summer weather,
When the days were long and still;
We were playmates in the firelight
While the winter eyes went by,
And we shared one couch at midnight -
My brother James and I!

We were schoolmates, too, together,
In the after years that came,
And in toil, or task, or pleasure,
Ours was still one heart, one aim;
Hand in hand we struggled sunward
Toward fair Science' temple high
Aiding each the other onward -
My brother James and I!

We were men at last together -
Oh, the well remembered time,
When we left the dear, old homestead
In our early manhood's prime!
Even then not disunited,
Went we forth with courage high
To one aim and effort plighted -
My brother James and I!

But at length there came a shadow
Dark with signs of change and blight
Deep'ning silently but surely
To a long and tearful night,
And beside a lonely river
That went darkly rushing by
Parted we - but not forever -
My brother James and I!

Not forever! not forever!
Though the stream is dark and wide
He is beck'ning to me ever
From the sun lit, summer side,
There the glory fadeth never,
And I know that by and by
We shall tread that shore together -
My brother James and I!