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The Farmhouse Garret

by Ellwood Roberts

Afar from the city's dust and noise,
Beside a grand old wood—
Away from the busy haunts of men—
The ancient farmhouse stood.
By low hills girt was the well-tilled vale,
A picture ever fair;
The fields were green and the skies were blue,
And all was peaceful there.

A building quaint was that farmhouse old.
In the days so long gone by,
And its dearest nook to us children all,
The garret, strange and high.
The roof ran up to a peak above,
The rafters all were bare,
No plaster covered the space between,
We saw the shingles there.

Life then was new and the world unknown;
A paradise to me
That garret old, with its treasures heaped,
Its wonders, strange to see.
Its worn old books had a charm, indeed,
I read them, hour by hour;
No stories like theirs I find to-day,
Not one has half their power.

We children played in that garret old
From noon till twilight fell;
To our young hearts it was fairy-land;
How weird yet seems the spell!
Sometimes we heard on the roof outside,
The pattering rain-drops fall;
But what cared we for the world beyond,
To whom our play was all?

The hours flew swiftly, unheeded, by,
And all too soon came night;
While there we mimicked the ways of men,
With sense of keen delight.
The years fled fast, and the happy days
Of childhood passed away;
Time came when we left the farmhouse old,
And ended all our play.

From that wonder-land, so full of joy,
Shut out, we scarce know how,
All, all is changed, and the mimic fun
Is sober earnest, now.
The world and its ways familiar grown—
Its marvels understood—
Recalled are days in the farmhouse spent,
Beside the grand old wood.

The farm is sold and the house pulled down;
A mansion, stately, tall,
Stands now in place of the farmhouse old;
How changed, indeed, is all!
And they who played in the garret there,
Are scattered, far away;
So busy they with the cares of life,
They rarely meet, to-day.

The fields are green and the skies are blue,
The valley still is fair;
The treasures heaped and the books are gone,
There's none can tell me where.
Long years have passed, and I look in vain
For what I used to see,—
When life was new, and the garret old
Was all the world to me.

And, glancing back o'er the days of youth,
I drop a silent tear
For the happy days, in the years gone by,
Within that attic dear.
For sweetest still are the times long past,
The faces gone for aye;
And Memory's treasures far outweigh
All those we hold to-day.

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