James Whitcomb Riley (7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)
A Song Of Long Ago
A song of Long Ago:
Sing it lightly--sing it low--
Sing it softly--like the lisping of the lips we used to know
When our baby-laughter spilled
From the glad hearts ever filled
With music blithe as robin ever trilled!
Let the fragrant summer-breeze,
And the leaves of locust-trees,
And the apple-buds and blossoms, and the wings of honey-bees,
All palpitate with glee,
Till the happy harmony
Brings back each childish joy to you and me.
Let the eyes of fancy turn
Where the tumbled pippins burn
Like embers in the orchard's lap of tangled grass and fern,--
There let the old path wind
In and out and on behind
The cider-press that chuckles as we grind.
Blend in the song the moan
Of the dove that grieves alone,
And the wild whir of the locust, and the bumble's drowsy drone;
And the low of cows that call
Through the pasture-bars when all
The landscape fades away at evenfall.
Then, far away and clear,
Through the dusky atmosphere,
Let the wailing of the kildee be the only sound we hear:
O sad and sweet and low
As the memory may know
Is the glad-pathetic song of Long Ago!
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