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The Stack Behind the Barn

by Sir charles George Douglas Roberts

September is here, with the ripened seeds,
And the homely smell of the autumn weeds,
My heart goes back to a vanished day,
And I am again a boy at play
In the stack behind the barn.

Dear memory of the old home-farm,—
The hedge-rows fencing the crops from harm,
The cows, too heavy with milk for haste,
The barn-yard, yellow with harvest waste,
And the stack behind the barn.

Dear, dear, dear the old garden-smell,
Sweet William and phlox that I loved so well,
And the seeding mint, and the sage turned grey,
But dearer the smell of the tumbled hay
In the stack behind the barn.

In the side of the stack we made our nest,
And there was the play-house we loved the best.
A thicket of goldenrod, bending and bright,
Filled us with glory and hid us from sight
In the stack behind the barn.

Then, when the stack, with the year, ran low,
And our frosty, morning cheeks were aglow,
When time had forgotten the dropping leaves,
What joy to drop from the barn's wide eaves
To the stack behind the barn!

O childhood years! Your heedless feet
Have slipped away with how much that's sweet!
But dreams and memory master you,
Till the make-believe of Life is through
I still may play as the children do
In the stack behind the barn.