They are dwellings of comfort and rest,
So easily, friendlily worn;
They have fashioned a leathery nest
For each individual corn.
By many a brotherly mile
They have molded themselves to my feet,
Submitting their angles the while
Till the union is fair and complete.
They have known how to want or abound,
Have cared not for blacking and pride,
And have suffered full many a wound
With me as their negligent guide.
What gay recollections they share
Of sweet-plodding league after league,
Fern forests, and glittering air,
And honest, contented fatigue!
I have brought them and they have brought me
Thus far on an intricate road,
And though they are homely to see,
They deserve a congratulant ode.
And I fear me the Golden Street
(The Scriptures I would not abuse)
Will not feel just right to my feet
Unless I can wear my old shoes.