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140
SONGS FOR BOYHOOD.
Where the whitest lilies blow, Where the freshest berries grow, Where the ground-nut trails its vine, Where the wood-grape's clusters shine; Of the black wasp's cunning way, Mason of his walls of clay, And the architectural plans Of gray-hornet artisans! For, eschewing books and tasks, Nature answers all he asks; Hand-in-hand with her he walks, Face to face with her he talks, Part and parcel of her joy� Blessings on the barefoot boy!
Oh for boyhood's time in June, Crowding years in one brief moon, When all things I heard or saw, Me, their master, waited for. I was rich in flowers and trees, Humming-birds and honey-bees! For my sport the squirrel played, Plied the snouted mole his spade; For my taste the blackberry cone Purpled over hedge and stone; Laughed the brook for my delight Through the day and through the night, Whispering at the garden-wall, Talked with me from fall to fall; Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond, Mine the walnut slopes beyond ; Mine, on bending orchard trees, Apples of Hesperides! Still, as my horizon grew, Larger grew my riches too; All the world I saw or knew Seemed a complex Chinese toy, Fashioned for a barefoot boy!
Oh for festal dainties spread, Like my bowl of milk and bread� Pewter spoon and bowl of wood, On the door-stone gray and rude! O'er me, like a regal tent, Cloudy-ribbed the sunset bent, Purple-curtained, fringed with gold, Looped in many a wind-swung fold; While for music came the play Of the pied frogs' orchestra ; And to light the noisy choir, Lit the fly his lamp of fire. I was monarch: pomp and joy Waited on the barefoot boy!
Cheerily, then, my little man, Live and laugh, as boyhood can ! Though the flinty slopes be hard, Stubble-speared the new-mown sward, Every morn shall lead thee through Fresh baptisms of the dew ; Every evening from thy feet Shall the cool wind kiss the heat: All too soon these feet must hide In the prison-cells of pride, Lose the freedom of the sod, Like a colt's, for work be shod, Made to tread the mills of toil, Up and down in ceaseless moil: Happy if their track be found Never on forbidden ground ; Happy if they sink not in Quick and treacherous sands of sin. Ah! that thou couldst know thy joy, Ere it passes, barefoot boy!
I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER.
Thomas Hood.
I remember, I remember
The house where I was born; The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn; He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day; But now I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!
I remember, I remember
The roses, red and white, The violets, and the lily-cups�
Those flowers made of light! The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set The laburnum on his birth-day�
The tree is living yet!
I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing, And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing ; My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now, And summer pools could scarcely cool
The fever on my brow!







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III