How often times we sit and think,
Each of our childhood home,
When all around seemed full of life,
And care to us was never known.
We each have something dear to us,
Which memory oft recalls,
Of running brook or flowery dell
Or tiny waterfalls
Or pastures green,
where oft we went
To drive the cattle home,
Or shady glen or pleasant nook
Where we were wont to roam.
My childhood home is nestled still
'Neath large and shady trees,
Where the birds make merry with their songs,
As their nests sway in the breeze.
In spring-time when the lilacs bloom,
And the apple trees are white,
And the violet's blue upon the hill:
It is a pretty sight.
I enjoyed it many years ago,
With sister and with brother:
I love it yet! The reason plain,
It is still the home of mother.
I never shall forget the place
Where we played, as children will,
When the barn was filled with new mown hay,
From the meadow o'er the hill.
Nor the swing in the oak tree in the grove;
There we spent so many happy hours,
While each would swing when came his turn.
The rest would gather flowers.
As daisies white and brown-eyed Bess
And those with tiny leaves:
We'd name them as we plucked them off
With names the like of these,
As Harry, Robert, Kate or Nell,
To decide our destiny;
Which ever was the last one called,
Our help-mate sure would be.
Such childish games, how innocent
Those hours and games went by:
But each who lived have lessons here,
To teach us how to die.
There was the orchard with its apples red,
The lake where the lilies bloom,
The sheep and lambs with their tinkling bell,
And the cattle as home they come.
The horses we rode to the watering place,
The old watch-dog on the rug,
The kittens who slept all, day by the hearth.
And the well with its little brown jug,
Which we filled there for the men at work
In the fields the whole day through,
And even the grass seemed greener then,
The sky a brighter blue.
When night came on and we gathered home,
“The dearest spot on earth,"
With father and mother and grandparents too.
Our home was filled with mirth.
But days like these go rushing by,
The years will come and go,
And golden locks in childhood time,
Will Soon be white as snow.
And time has wrought, Oh! such a change,
“Where are we all tonight:"
God's will sometimes seems very strange
Though we know it must be right.
Grandparents gone to their reward,
And some of the children sleep
Beneath the daisies on the hill,
In a slumber long and deep.
And father rests from all his toil,
A flag still marks his grave:
Carved in the marble is his name,
And the pine-trees o'er him wave.
But fresh in memory is his form,
His forehead high and fair,
His eyes of blue, locks streaked with gray;
That face wore marks of care.
A thousand pounds I'd give today,
Did I that much possess,
If I could gaze upon that face,
And feel that fond caress.
But joys like these can ne'er return,
Our friends are gone before:
And memory serves a casket here,
Such thoughts to keep in store.
As years roll on and changes come,
We may roam in distant lands,
And view strange things by nature wrought,
And wonders rare by skillful hands.
We may for a time forget
Our early childhood home,
But at eventide when all is still.
Then back to mind it comes.