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Poems About Memories

Table of Contents

Miscellaneous Poems About Memories

  1. Break, Break, Break by Alfred Tennyson
  2. My Treasure by Arthur Weir
  3. Places by Sara Teasdale
  4. On Memory by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott
  5. A Remembrance by Bliss Carman
  6. This was in the white of the year by Emily Dickinson
  7. A thought went up my mind to-day by Emily Dickinson
  8. Trying to Forget by Emily Dickinson
  9. With Flowers by Emily Dickinson
  10. The Consignment by Hannah Flagg Gould
  11. Remembrance by Emily Dickinson
  12. Bill and Joe by Oliver Wendell Holmes
  13. Memories by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  14. Sonnet XXX by William Shakespeare
  15. In The Afternoon by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  16. The Things Divine by Jean Brooks Burt
  17. Rain on the Roof by Coates Kinney
  18. The Treasure by Rupert Brooke
  19. Accomplished Care by Edgar A. Guest
  20. At the Fireside by John Davis Long

Memories of Childhood and Youth

  1. "Only In Sleep" by Sara Teasdale
  2. The Light of Other Days by Thomas Moore
  3. The Dream by Hannah Flagg Gould
  4. The Attic of My Childhood by Helen Emma Maring
  5. The Old Sampler by M. E. Sangster
  6. Young Soldiers by Anonymous
  7. A Fool's Wish by Anonymous
  8. Rock Me to Sleep by Elizabeth Akers Allen
  9. Forty Years Ago by Anonymous
  10. The Old Home Barn by Edward Henry Elwell
  11. The Stack Behind the Barn by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  12. An Evening's Stroll by Ed Blair
  13. I. by Christopher Pearse Cranch
  14. XXII. Pennyroyal by Christopher Pearse Cranch
  15. The Fire-Flies in the Wheat by Harriet Prescott Spofford

Memories of a Childhood Home

  1. The Return by John Burroughs
  2. The Old Homestead by William Henry Venable
  3. Our Homestead by Phoebe Cary
  4. I Remember, I Remember by Thomas Hood
  5. Native Attachment by Hannah Flagg Gould
  6. Recollections by Hannah Flagg Gould
  7. excerpt from "The Young Artist" by Hannah Flagg Gould
  8. The Place Where I Was Born by James W. Whilt
  9. Home Memories by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  10. My Pioneer Home In Kansas by Ed Blair
  11. The Lilacs Mother Planted by Ed Blair
  12. The Old Farmhouse by Ellen P. Allerton
  13. Amid the Corn by Hattie Howard

Memories of Loved Ones

  1. A Memory by William Stanley Braithwaite
  2. The Playthings by Hannah Flagg Gould
  3. Pictures of Memory by Alice Cary
  4. The Grandfather by Charles G. Eastman
  5. The Breast-Pin by Hannah Flagg Gould
  6. Memorials by Emily Dickinson
  7. To Yesterday by Ruby Archer

Memories Forgotten

  1. Forgotten by Emily Dickinson
  2. Forgetfulness by Anna Hempstead Branch
  3. The Forgotten Grave by Emily Dickinson
  4. Heart, we will forget him! by Emily Dickinson
  5. Near the End of April by William Stanley Braithwaite
  6. You Will Forget Me by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Memory

  1. Break, Break, Break

    Break, break, break,
    At the foot of thy crags, O sea!
    But the tender grace of a day that is dead
    Will never come back to me.

    - Alfred Tennyson
    Break, Break, Break
    by Alfred Tennyson

    Break, break, break,
    On thy cold gray stones, O sea!
    And I would that my tongue could utter
    The thoughts that arise in me.

    Oh, well for the fisherman's boy,
    That he shouts with his sister at play!
    Oh, well for the sailor lad,
    That he sings in his boat on the bay!

    And the stately ships go on
    To their haven under the hill;
    But oh for the touch of a vanished hand,
    And the sound of a voice that is still!

    Break, break, break,
    At the foot of thy crags, O sea!
    But the tender grace of a day that is dead
    Will never come back to me.

  2. My Treasure

    "The past is my treasure, friends," I said,
    "Time but adds to my treasury,

    – Arthur Weir
    My Treasure
    by Arthur Weir

    "What do you gather?" the maiden said,
    Shaking her sunlit curls at me—
    "See, these flowers I plucked are dead,
    Ah! misery."

    "What do you gather?" the miser said,
    Clinking his gold, as he spoke to me—
    "I cannot sleep at night for dread
    Of thieves," said he.

    "What do you gather?" the dreamer said,
    "I dream dreams of what is to be;
    Daylight comes, and my dreams are fled,
    Ah! woe is me."

    "What do you gather?" the young man said—
    "I seek fame for eternity,
    Toiling on while the world's abed,
    Alone," said he.

    "What do I gather?" I laughing said,
    "Nothing at all save memory,
    Sweet as flowers, but never dead,
    Like thine, Rosie."

    "I have no fear of thieves," I said,
    "Daylight kills not my reverie,
    Fame will find I am snug abed,
    That comes to me."

    "The past is my treasure, friends," I said,
    "Time but adds to my treasury,
    Happy moments are never fled
    Away from me."

    "All one needs to be rich," I said,
    "Is to live that his past shall be
    Sweet in his thoughts, as a wild rose red,
    Eternally."

  3. Places

    Places I love come back to me like music,

    - Sara Teasdale
    Places
    by Sara Teasdale

    Places I love come back to me like music,
    Hush me and heal me when I am very tired;
    I see the oak woods at Saxton's flaming
    In a flare of crimson by the frost newly fired;
    And I am thirsty for the spring in the valley
    As for a kiss ungiven and long desired.

    I know a bright world of snowy hills at Boonton,
    A blue and white dazzling light on everything one sees,
    The ice-covered branches of the hemlocks sparkle
    Bending low and tinkling in the sharp thin breeze,
    And iridescent crystals fall and crackle on the snow-crust
    With the winter sun drawing cold blue shadows from the trees.

    Violet now, in veil on veil of evening
    The hills across from Cromwell grow dreamy and far;
    A wood-thrush is singing soft as a viol
    In the heart of the hollow where the dark pools are;
    The primrose has opened her pale yellow flowers
    And heaven is lighting star after star.

    Places I love come back to me like music—
    Mid-ocean, midnight, the waves buzz drowsily;
    In the ship's deep churning the eerie phosphorescence
    Is like the souls of people who were drowned at sea,
    And I can hear a man's voice, speaking, hushed, insistent,
    At midnight, in mid-ocean, hour on hour to me.

  4. On Memory

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    Life is sweeten'd by thy power,
    And the fallen years return,
    Draws the eurtain from an hour,
    Thither we a lesson learn.

    Take the veil from former years,
    Brightens eyes bedim'd with grief,
    Sooths our sorrows and our tears,
    Thither may we find relief.

    Mem'ry cheers in joy or wo,
    Though our earthly hopes are riven,
    Though our tears awhile may flow,
    Soon our bark may rest in heaven.

  5. A Remembrance

    by Bliss Carman

    Here in lovely New England
    When summer is come, a sea-turn
    Flutters a page of remembrance
    In the volume of long ago.

    Soft is the wind over Grand Pré,
    Stirring the heads of the grasses,
    Sweet is the breath of the orchards
    White with their apple-blow.

    There at their infinite business
    Of measuring time forever,
    Murmuring songs of the sea,
    The great tides come and go.

    Over the dikes and the uplands
    Wander the great cloud shadows,
    Strange as the passing of sorrow,
    Beautiful, solemn, and slow.

    For, spreading her old enchantment
    Of tender ineffable wonder,
    Summer is there in the Northland!
    How should my heart not know?

  6. This was in the white of the year

    Looking back is best that is left,
    Or if it be before,
    Retrospection is prospect's half,
    Sometimes almost more.

    - Emily Dickinson
    This was in the white of the year
    by Emily Dickinson

    This was in the white of the year,
    That was in the green,
    Drifts were as difficult then to think
    As daisies now to be seen.

    Looking back is best that is left,
    Or if it be before,
    Retrospection is prospect's half,
    Sometimes almost more.

  7. A thought went up my mind to-day

    But somewhere in my soul, I know
    I've met the thing before;
    It just reminded me — 't was all —
    And came my way no more.

    - Emily Dickinson
    A thought went up my mind to-day
    by Emily Dickinson

    A thought went up my mind to-day
    That I have had before,
    But did not finish, — some way back,
    I could not fix the year,

    Nor where it went, nor why it came
    The second time to me,
    Nor definitely what it was,
    Have I the art to say.

    But somewhere in my soul, I know
    I've met the thing before;
    It just reminded me — 't was all —
    And came my way no more.

  8. Trying to Forget

    by Emily Dickinson

    Bereaved of all, I went abroad,
    No less bereaved to be
    Upon a new peninsula, —
    The grave preceded me,

    Obtained my lodgings ere myself,
    And when I sought my bed,
    The grave it was, reposed upon
    The pillow for my head.

    I waked, to find it first awake,
    I rose, — it followed me;
    I tried to drop it in the crowd,
    To lose it in the sea,

    In cups of artificial drowse
    To sleep its shape away, —
    The grave was finished, but the spade
    Remained in memory.

  9. With Flowers

    If recollecting were forgetting,
    Then I remember not;
    And if forgetting, recollecting,
    How near I had forgot!

    - Emily Dickinson
    With Flowers
    by Emily Dickinson

    If recollecting were forgetting,
    Then I remember not;
    And if forgetting, recollecting,
    How near I had forgot!
    And if to miss were merry,
    And if to mourn were gay,
    How very blithe the fingers
    That gathered these to-day!

  10. The Consignment

    Go together, all, and burn,
    Once the treasures of my heart!
    Still, my breast shall be an urn
    To preserve your better part!

    - Hannah Flagg Gould
    The Consignment
    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Fire, my hand is on the key,
    And the cabinet must ope!
    I shall now consign to thee,
    Things of grief, of joy, of hope.
    Treasured secrets of the heart
    To thy care I hence entrust:
    Not a word must thou impart,
    But reduce them all to dust.

    This—in childhood's rosy morn,
    This was gaily filled and sent.
    Childhood is for ever gone;
    Here—devouring element.
    This was friendship's cherished pledge;
    Friendship took a colder form:
    Creeping on its gilded edge,
    May the blaze be bright and warm!

    These—the letter and the token,
    Never more shall meet my view!
    When the faith has once been broken,
    Let the memory perish too!
    This—'t was penned while purest joy
    Warmed the heart and lit the eye:
    Fate that peace did soon destroy;
    And its transcript now will I!

    This must go! for, on the seal
    When I broke the solemn yew,
    Keener was the pang than steel;
    'T was a heart-string breaking too!
    Here comes up the blotted leaf,
    Blistered o'er by many a tear.
    Hence! thou waking shade of grief!
    Go, for ever disappear!

    This is his, who seemed to be
    High as heaven, and fair as light;
    But the visor rose, and he—
    Spare, O memory! spare the sight
    Of the face that frowned beneath,
    While I take it, hand and name,
    And entwine it with a wreath
    Of the purifying flame!

    These—the hand is in the grave,
    And the soul is in the skies,
    Whence they came! 'T is pain to save
    Cold remains of sundered ties!
    Go together, all, and burn,
    Once the treasures of my heart!
    Still, my breast shall be an urn
    To preserve your better part!

  11. Remembrance

    Remembrance has a rear and front, —
    'T is something like a house;
    It has a garret also
    For refuse and the mouse,

    - Emily Dickinson
    Remembrance
    by Emily Dickinson

    Remembrance has a rear and front, —
    'T is something like a house;
    It has a garret also
    For refuse and the mouse,

    Besides, the deepest cellar
    That ever mason hewed;
    Look to it, by its fathoms
    Ourselves be not pursued.

  12. Bill and Joe

    When fades at length our lingering day,
    Who cares what pompous tombstones say?
    Read on the hearts that love us still,
    Hic jacet Joe. Hic jacet Bill.

    - Oliver Wendell Holmes
    Bill and Joe
    Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Come, dear old comrade, you and I
    Will steal an hour from days gone by—
    The shining days when life was new,
    And all was bright as morning dew,
    The lusty days of long ago,
    When you were Bill and I was Joe.

    Your name may flaunt a titled trail
    Proud as a cockerel's rainbow tail,
    And mine as brief appendix wear
    As Tam O'Shanter's luckless mare;
    To-day, old friend, remember still
    That I am Joe and you are Bill.

    You've won the great world's envied prize,
    And grand you look in people's eyes,
    With HON. and LL. D.,
    In big, brave letters fair to see,—
    Your fist, old fellow! Off they go!—
    How are you, Bill? How are you, Joe?

    You've worn the judge's ermined robe;
    You've taught your name to half the globe;
    You've sung mankind a deathless strain;
    You've made the dead past live again:
    The world may call you what it will,
    But you and I are Joe and Bill.

    The chaffing young folks stare and say,
    "See those old buffers, bent and gray;
    They talk like fellows in their teens;
    Mad, poor old boys! That's what it means"
    And shake their heads; they little know
    The throbbing hearts of Bill and Joe—

    How Bill forgets his hour of pride,
    While Joe sits smiling at his side;
    How Joe, in spite of time's disguise,
    Finds the old schoolmate in his eyes,—
    Those calm, stern eyes, that melt and fill,
    As Joe looks fondly up to Bill.

    Ah! pensive scholar, what is fame?
    A fitful tongue of leaping flame;
    A giddy whirlwind's fickle gust,
    That lifts a pinch of mortal dust;
    A few swift years, and who can show
    Which dust was Bill, and which was Joe.

    The weary idol takes his stand,
    Holds out his bruised and aching hand,
    While gaping thousands come and go—
    How vain it seems, this empty show!—
    Till all at once his pulses thrill:
    'T is poor old Joe's, "God bless you, Bill!"

    And shall we breathe in happier spheres
    The names that pleased our mortal ears;
    In some sweet lull of heart and song
    For earth born spirits none too long,
    Just whispering of the world below
    When this was Bill, and that was Joe?

    No matter; while our home is here,
    No sounding name is half so dear;
    When fades at length our lingering day,
    Who cares what pompous tombstones say?
    Read on the hearts that love us still,
    Hic jacet Joe. Hic jacet Bill.

  13. Memories

    Pleasures, like flowers, may wither and decay,
    And yet the root perennial may be.

    - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Memories
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Oft I remember those whom I have known
    In other days, to whom my heart was led
    As by a magnet, and who are not dead,
    But absent, and their memories overgrown
    With other thoughts and troubles of my own,
    As graves with grasses are, and at their head
    The stone with moss and lichens so o'erspread,
    Nothing is legible but the name alone.
    And is it so with them? After long years,
    Do they remember me in the same way,
    And is the memory pleasant as to me?
    I fear to ask; yet wherefore are my fears?
    Pleasures, like flowers, may wither and decay,
    And yet the root perennial may be.

  14. Sonnet XXX

    When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
    I summon up remembrance of things past,
    I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

    - William Shakespeare
    Sonnet XXX
    by William Shakespeare

    When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
    I summon up remembrance of things past,
    I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
    And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste;
    Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,
    For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
    And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
    And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
    Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
    And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
    The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
    Which I new pay as if not paid before.
    But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
    All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.

  15. In The Afternoon

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Wind of the summer afternoon,
    Hush, for my heart is out of tune!

    Hush, for thou movest restlessly
    The too light sleeper, Memory!

    Whate'er thou hast to tell me, yet
    'Twere something sweeter to forget,—

    Sweeter than all thy breath of balm
    An hour of unremembering calm!

    Blowing over the roofs, and down
    The bright streets of this inland town,

    These busy crowds, these rocking trees—
    What strange note hast thou caught from these?

    A note of waves and rushing tides,
    Where past the dikes the red flood glides,

    To brim the shining channels far
    Up the green plains of Tantramar.

    Once more I snuff the salt, I stand
    On the long dikes of Westmoreland;

    I watch the narrowing flats, the strip
    Of red clay at the water's lip;

    Far off the net-reels, brown and high,
    And boat-masts slim against the sky;

    Along the ridges of the dikes
    Wind-beaten scant sea-grass, and spikes

    Of last year's mullein; down the slopes
    To landward, in the sun, thick ropes

    Of blue vetch, and convolvulus,
    And matted roses glorious.

    The liberal blooms o'erbrim my hands;
    I walk the level, wide marsh-lands;

    Waist-deep in dusty-blossomed grass
    I watch the swooping breezes pass

    In sudden, long, pale lines, that flee
    Up the deep breast of this green sea.

    I listen to the bird that stirs
    The purple tops, and grasshoppers

    Whose summer din, before my feet
    Subsiding, wakes on my retreat.

    Again the droning bees hum by;
    Still-winged, the gray hawk wheels on high

    I drink again the wild perfumes,
    And roll, and crush the grassy blooms.

    Blown back to olden days, I fain
    Would quaff the olden joys again;

    But all the olden sweetness not
    The old unmindful peace hath brought.

    Wind of this summer afternoon,
    Thou hast recalled my childhood's June;

    My heart—still is it satisfied
    By all the golden summer-tide?

    Hast thou one eager yearning filled,
    Or any restless throbbing stilled,

    Or hast thou any power to bear
    Even a little of my care?—

    Ever so little of this weight
    Of weariness canst thou abate?

    Ah, poor thy gift indeed, unless
    Thou bring the old child-heartedness,—

    And such a gift to bring is given,
    Alas, to no wind under heaven!

    Wind of the summer afternoon,
    Be still; my heart is not in tune.

    Sweet is thy voice; but yet, but yet—
    Of all 'twere sweetest to forget!

  16. The Things Divine

    by Jean Brooks Burt

    These are the things I hold divine:
    A trusting child's hand laid in mine,
    Rich brown earth and wind-tossed trees,
    The taste of grapes and the drone of bees,
    A rhythmic gallop, long June days,
    A rose-hedged lane and lovers' lays,
    The welcome smile on neighbors' faces,
    Cool, wide hills and open places,
    Breeze-blown fields of silver rye,
    The wild, sweet note of the plover's cry,
    Fresh spring showers and scent of box,
    The soft, pale tint of the garden phlox,
    Lilacs blooming, a drowsy noon,
    A flight of geese and an autumn moon,
    Rolling meadows and storm-washed heights,
    A fountain murmur on summer nights,
    A dappled fawn in the forest hush,
    Simple words and the song of a thrush,
    Rose-red dawns and a mate to share
    With comrade soul my gypsy fare,
    A waiting fire when the twilight ends,
    A gallant heart and the voice of friends.

  17. Rain on the Roof

    by Coates Kinney

    When the humid showers gather over all the starry spheres,
    And the melancholy darkness gently weeps in rainy tears,
    'Tis a joy to press the pillow of a cottage chamber bed,
    And listen to the patter of the soft rain overhead.

    Every tinkle on the shingles has an echo in the heart,
    And a thousand dreamy fancies into busy being start;
    And a thousand recollections weave their bright hues into woof,
    As I listen to the patter of the soft rain on the roof.

    There in fancy comes my mother, as she used to years agone,
    To survey the infant sleepers ere she left them till the dawn.
    I can see her bending o'er me, as I listen to the strain
    Which is played upon the shingles by the patter of the rain.

    Then my little seraph sister, with her wings and waving hair,
    And her bright-eyed, cherub brother—a serene, angelic pair—
    Glide around my wakeful pillow with their praise or mild reproof,
    As I listen to the murmur of the soft rain on the roof.

    And another comes to thrill me with her eyes' delicious blue,
    I forget, as gazing on her, that her heart was all untrue,
    I remember that I loved her as I ne'er may love again,
    And my heart's quick pulses vibrate to the patter of the rain.

    There is naught in art's bravuras that can work with such a spell,
    In the spirit's pure, deep fountains, whence the holy passions swell,
    As that melody of nature, that subdued, subduing strain,
    Which is played upon the shingles by the patter of the rain!

  18. The Treasure

    by Rupert Brooke

    When colour goes home into the eyes,
    And lights that shine are shut again
    With dancing girls and sweet birds' cries
    Behind the gateways of the brain;
    And that no-place which gave them birth, shall close
    The rainbow and the rose:—

    Still may Time hold some golden space
    Where I'll unpack that scented store
    Of song and flower and sky and face,
    And count, and touch, and turn them o'er,
    Musing upon them; as a mother, who
    Has watched her children all the rich day through
    Sits, quiet-handed, in the fading light,
    When children sleep, ere night.

  19. Accomplished Care

    by Edgar A. Guest

    All things grow lovely in a little while,
    The brush of memory paints a canvas fair;
    The dead face through the ages wears a smile,
    And glorious becomes accomplished care.

    There's nothing ugly that can live for long,
    There's nothing constant in the realm of pain;
    Right always comes to take the place of wrong,
    Who suffers much shall find the greater gain.

    Life has a kindly way, despite its tears
    And all the burdens which its children bear;
    It crowns with beauty all the troubled years
    And soothes the hurts and makes their memory fair.

    Be brave when days are bitter with despair,
    Be true when you are made to suffer wrong;
    Life's greatest joy is an accomplished care,
    There's nothing ugly that can live for long.

  20. At the Fireside

    by John Davis Long

    At nightfall by the firelight's cheer
    My little Margaret sits me near,
    And begs me tell of things that were
    When I was little, just like her.

    Ah, little lips, you touch the spring
    Of sweetest sad remembering;
    And hearth and heart flash all aglow
    With ruddy tints of long ago!

    I at my father's fireside sit,
    Youngest of all who circle it,
    And beg him tell me what did he
    When he was little, just like me.

  21. Memories of Childhood and Youth

  22. "Only In Sleep"

    by Sara Teasdale

    Only in sleep I see their faces,
    Children I played with when I was a child,
    Louise comes back with her brown hair braided,
    Annie with ringlets warm and wild.

    Only in sleep Time is forgotten—
    What may have come to them, who can know?
    Yet we played last night as long ago,
    And the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair.

    The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces,
    I met their eyes and found them mild—
    Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder,
    And for them am I too a child?

  23. The Light of Other Days

    The friends so linked together
    I've seen around me fall
    Like leaves in wintry weather,

    - Thomas Moore
    The Light of Other Days
    by Thomas Moore

    Oft in the stilly night
    Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
    Fond memory brings the light
    Of other days around me:
    The smiles, the tears
    Of boyhood's years,
    The words of love then spoken;
    The eyes that shone,
    Now dimmed and gone,
    The cheerful hearts now broken!
    Thus in the stilly night
    Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
    Sad memory brings the light
    Of other days around me.

    When I remember all
    The friends so linked together
    I've seen around me fall
    Like leaves in wintry weather,
    I feel like one
    Who treads alone
    Some banquet hall deserted,
    Whose lights are fled
    Whose garlands dead,
    And all but he departed.
    Thus in the stilly night
    Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
    Sad memory brings the light
    Of other days around me.

  24. The Dream

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    I dreamed, and 't was a lovely, blessed dream,
    That I again my native hills had found,
    The mossy rocks, the valley, and the stream
    That used to hold me captive to its sound.

    I was a child again—I roamed anew
    About my early haunts, and saw the whole
    That fades, with waking memory, from the view
    Of this mysterious thing we call the soul

    A very child, again beside the brook,
    I made my puny hand a cup to dip
    Among the sparkling waters, where I took
    Its hollow full and brought it to my lip.

    And oh! that cooling draught I still can taste,
    And feel it in the spirit and the flesh.
    'T is like a fount, that in the desert waste
    Leaps out, the weary pilgrim to refresh.

    The spice of other days was borne along,
    From shrub and forest, on the balmy breeze;
    I heard my warbling wild bird's tender song
    Come sweet and thrilling through the rustling trees.

    All was restored, as in the sunny day
    When I believed my little, rural ground
    The centre of the world, whose limits lay
    Just where the bright horizon hemmed it round.

    And she, who was my sister then, but now,
    What she may be, the pure immortals know,
    Who, round the throne of the Eternal bow,
    And bathe in glory veiled from all below.

    But she was there, who, with her riper years,
    Once walked, the guardian of my infant feet;
    Drew from my hand the thorn, wiped off my tears,
    And brought fresh flowers to deck our grassy seat.

    I saw her cheek with life's warm current flushed;
    Clung to the fingers that used to hold;
    Heard the loved voice that is for ever hushed;
    And felt the form that long ago was cold.

    All I have been and known, in all the years
    Since I was sporting in that cherished spot,
    My hopes, my joys, my wishes and my tears,
    As only dreamings, were alike forgot.

    'T was this that made my dream so blest and bright,
    And me the careless thing that I was then.
    Yet, Time, I would not now reverse thy flight,
    And risk the running of my race again.

    The fairest joys that struck their roots in earth
    I would not rear again, to bloom and fade!
    I've had them once, in their ideal worth;
    Their height I've measured, and their substance weighed.

    Nor those, who sleep in peace, would I awake
    To have their hearts with time's delusions filled;
    The seal, that God has set, I would not break;
    Nor call the voice to lips that he has stilled.

    And yet I love my dream—'t was very sweet
    To be among my native hills again;
    Where my light heart was borne by infant feet,
    The careless, blissful creature I was then!

    Whene'er I think of it, the warm tears roll,
    Uncalled, and unforbidden, down my cheek;
    But not for joy, or sorrow. O my soul,
    Thy nature, power, or purpose, who can speak?

  25. The Attic of My Childhood

    Ah! Each mortal has an attic
    Where he stores the broken past—
    Shattered hopes, and hours of gladness,
    Loves that cling until the last.

    - Helen Emma Maring
    The Attic of My Childhood
    by Helen Emma Maring

    Oh, the wonders of that attic,
    How I loved to climb its stair
    Made of steps just like a ladder
    And a trap door waiting there!

    Through fan-shapen windows, streaming,
    Came the golden shafts of sun,
    Through the fairy curtains gleaming,
    That the tireless spiders spun.

    There, a distaff, wheel and treadle,
    Lay beneath the sloping roof,
    None there were who knew its uses—
    Gone, the maker of the woof.

    There, too, hung a war-time weapon—
    Grandpa's bayonet, so grim.
    He had whipped the Rebel army—
    General Grant a-helping him.

    Oh, the treasures of that attic
    Hanging from its rafters bare—
    Coats of velvet, silken dresses,
    Beaded bags, and wreaths of hair.

    Hats and bonnets, shoes and slippers,
    Used for masquerades a lot,
    Plant jars and unhandled dippers
    Underneath each leaky spot.

    Shawls and scarfs and knitted mittens,
    Colors of the Orient;
    Dolls and doylies, sawdust kittens,
    Oh, the money that was spent!

    Strings of buttons, by the thousands,
    Still no making of a pair;
    Margaret sought them from the neighbors
    When she wore beribboned hair.

    Dainty bits of china, broken,
    And a precious statue cracked,
    All within their tissue wrappings,
    Tied by loving hands—intact.

    Winter apples, there for keeping,
    Spread about upon the floor,
    Big pound-sweets and golden russets,
    But I never left a core.

    Piles of butternuts there drying
    Till their satin coats of green
    Turned a sombre brown, all shrunken,
    And the jagged shells were seen.

    Whalebone ribs from old umbrellas,
    And I smoked that acrid stuff,
    Till my stomach in rebellion
    Warned me—not another puff.

    Hoopskirts, with and without bustles,
    Linen dusters, carpet rags,
    Quilting frames and curtain stretchers,
    Magazines and traveling bags.

    Paper sacks of downy feathers
    Waiting there to fill a tick,
    Foot-stools and some other comforts
    Only used when folks were sick.

    And within a trunk so aged
    That its sides had turned to gray,
    Were the tear-stained precious treasures
    Of the ones who'd passed away—

    Stockings made for brother Tommy,
    Dresses that dear Nannie wore,
    Dainty bits of broidered muslin—
    Grandma's needle-work of yore.

    Ah! Each mortal has an attic
    Where he stores the broken past—
    Shattered hopes, and hours of gladness,
    Loves that cling until the last.

    Childhood plays within its shadow,
    Manhood lingers in its gloom,
    But Old Age lives midst the splendors,
    There, in Memory's Attic Room.

  26. The Old Sampler

    For love is of the immortal,
    And patience is sublime,
    And trouble a thing of every day,
    And touching every time;

    - M. E. Sangster
    The Old Sampler
    by M. E. Sangster

    Out of the way, in a corner
    Of our dear old attic room,
    Where bunches of herbs from the hillside
    Shake ever a faint perfume,
    An oaken chest is standing,
    With hasp and padlock and key,
    Strong as the hands that made it
    On the other side of the sea.

    When the winter days are dreary,
    And we're out of heart with life,
    Of its crowding cares aweary,
    And sick of its restless strife,
    We take a lesson in patience
    From the attic corner dim,
    Where the chest still holds its treasures,
    A warder faithful and grim.

    Robes of an antique fashion,
    Linen and lace and silk,
    That time has tinted with saffron,
    Though once they were white as milk;
    Wonderful baby garments,
    'Boidered with loving care
    By fingers that felt the pleasure,
    As they wrought the ruffles fair;

    A sword, with the red rust on it,
    That flashed in the battle tide,
    When from Lexington to Yorktown
    Sorely men's souls were tried;
    A plumed chapeau and a buckle,
    And many a relic fine,
    And, an by itself, the sampler,
    Framed in with berry and vine.

    Faded the square of canvas,
    And dim is the silken thread,
    But I think of white hands dimpled,
    And a childish, sunny head;
    For here in cross and in tent stitch,
    In a wreath of berry and vine,
    She worked it a hundred years ago,
    "Elizabeth, Aged Nine."

    In and out in the sunshine,
    The little needle flashed,
    And in and out on the rainy day,
    When the merry drops down plashed,
    As close she sat by her mother,
    The little Puritan maid,
    And did her piece in the sampler,
    While the other children played.

    You are safe in the beautiful heaven,
    "Elizabeth, aged nine;"
    But before you went you had troubles
    Sharper than any of mine.
    Oh, the gold hair turned with sorrow
    White as the drifted snow.
    And your tears dropped here where I'm standing,
    On this very plumed chapeau.

    When you put it away, its wearer
    Would need it nevermore,
    By a sword thrust learning the secrets
    God keeps on yonder shore;
    And you wore your grief like glory,
    You would not yield supine,
    Who wrought in your patient childhood,
    "Elizabeth, Aged Nine."

    Out of the way, in a corner,
    With hasp and padlock and key,
    Stands the oaken chest of my fathers
    That came from over the sea;
    And the hillside herbs above it
    Shake odors fragrant and fine,
    And here on its lid is a garland
    To "Elizabeth, aged nine."

    For love is of the immortal,
    And patience is sublime,
    And trouble a thing of every day,
    And touching every time;
    And childhood sweet and sunny,
    And womanly truth and grace,
    Ever call light life's darkness
    And bless earth's lowliest place.

  27. Young Soldiers

    by Anonymous

    Oh, were you ne'er a schoolboy,
    And did you never train,
    And feel that swelling of the heart
    You ne'er can feel again?

    Did you never meet, far down the street,
    With plumes and banners gay,
    While the kettle, for the kettledrum,
    Played your march, march away?

    It seems to me but yesterday,
    Nor scarce so long ago,
    Since all our school their muskets took,
    To charge the fearful foe.

    Our muskets were of cedar wood,
    With ramrods bright and new;
    With bayonets forever set,
    And painted barrels, too.

    We charged upon a flock of geese,
    And put them all to flight—
    Except one sturdy gander
    That thought to show us fight.

    But, ah! we knew a thing or two;
    Our captain wheeled the van;
    We routed him, we scouted him,
    Nor lost a single man!

    Our captain was as brave a lad
    As e'er commission bore;
    And brightly shone his new tin sword;
    A paper cap he wore.

    He led us up the steep hillside,
    Against the western wind,
    While the cockerel plume that decked his head
    Streamed bravely out behind.

    We shouldered arms, we carried arms,
    We charged the bayonet;
    And woe unto the mullein stalk
    That in our course we met!

    At two o'clock the roll we called,
    And till the close of day,
    With fearless hearts, though tired limbs,
    We fought the mimic fray,—
    Till the supper bell, from out the dell,
    Bade us march, march away.

  28. A Fool's Wish

    by Anonymous

    I wish I could be the kind of fool I was in the days of yore,
    When people could send me on idiotic errands to the store.
    When I found the purse tied to a string, and discovered the sugar was salt,
    And tried to pick up the county line for jolly Uncle Walt.

    For now I'm a fool of a different sort, a less desirable kind,
    The fashion of fool that dabbles in stocks and leaves his earnings behind;
    The fool that toils for a hunk of gold and misses the only wealth;
    The fool that sells for the bubble of fame his happiness and health.

    Yes, now you behold in me the fool, the melancholy fool
    Who has to go back, with his temples gray, to the very primary school.
    And learn the fundamentals of life, the simple, essential things.
    The body that lives and the mind that and the soul that trusts and sings.

    And would I could be the kind of fool I was in the olden days,
    The fool that would fall for an open trick and be fooled in those innocent ways.
    I would give the whole of my bank account and the worldly success I am,
    If I could go to the kitchen door to look for the gooseberry jamb!

  29. Rock Me to Sleep

    Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,
    With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
    Never hereafter to wake or to weep:—
    Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

    - Elizabeth Akers Allen
    Rock Me to Sleep
    Elizabeth Akers Allen

    Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
    Make me a child again, just for to-night!
    Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
    Take me again to your heart as of yore;
    Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
    Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
    Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;—
    Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

    Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
    I am so weary of toil and of tears;
    Toil without recompense, tears all in vain;
    Take them, and give me my childhood again!
    I have grown weary of dust and decay,—
    Weary of flinging my soul wealth away;
    Weary of sowing for others to reap;—
    Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

    Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
    Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you!
    Many a summer the grass has grown green,
    Blossomed and faded, our faces between:
    Yet with strong yearning and passionate pain,
    Long I to-night for your presence again.
    Come from the silence so long and so deep;—
    Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

    Over my heart in the days that are flown,
    No love like mother love ever has shone;
    No other worship abides and endures,
    Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
    None like a mother can charm away pain
    From the sick soul, and the world-weary brain.
    Slumber's soft calms o'er my heavy lids creep;—
    Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

    Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
    Fall on your shoulders again, as of old;
    Let it drop over my forehead to-night,
    Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
    For with its sunny-edged shadows once more,
    Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
    Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;—
    Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

    Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
    Since I last listened your lullaby song;
    Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
    Womanhood's years have been only a dream!
    Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,
    With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
    Never hereafter to wake or to weep:—
    Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!

  30. Forty Years Ago

    by Anonymous

    I've wandered to the village, Tom,
    I've sat beneath the tree,
    Upon the schoolhouse playground,
    That sheltered you and me;
    But none were left to greet me, Tom,
    And few were left to know,
    Who played with me upon the green,
    Just forty years ago.

    The grass was just as green, Tom,
    Barefooted boys at play
    Were sporting, just as we did then,
    With spirits just as gay.
    But the master sleeps upon the hill,
    Which, coated o'er with snow,
    Afforded us a sliding place,
    Some forty years ago.

    The old schoolhouse is altered some;
    The benches are replaced
    By new ones very like the same
    Our jackknives had defaced.
    But the same old bricks are in the wall,
    The bell swings to and fro;
    Its music's just the same, dear Tom,
    'T was forty years ago.

    The spring that bubbled 'neath the hill,
    Close by the spreading beech,
    Is very low; 't was once so high
    That we could almost reach;
    And kneeling down to take a drink,
    Dear Tom, I started so,
    To think how very much I've changed
    Since forty years ago.

    Near by that spring, upon an elm,
    You know, I cut your name,
    Your sweetheart's just beneath it, Tom;
    And you did mine the same.
    Some heartless wretch has peeled the bark;
    'T was dying sure, but slow,
    Just as that one whose name you cut
    Died forty years ago.

    My lids have long been dry, Tom,
    But tears came in my eyes:
    I thought of her I loved so well,
    Those early broken ties.
    I visited the old churchyard,
    And took some flowers to strew
    Upon the graves of those we loved
    Just forty years ago.

    Some are in the churchyard laid,
    Some sleep beneath the sea;
    And none are left of our old class
    Excepting you and me.
    And when our time shall come, Tom,
    And we are called to go,
    I hope we'll meet with those we loved
    Some forty years ago.

  31. The Old Home Barn

    by Edward Henry Elwell

    On a Painting by Harry Brown

    Yes, 'tis the same! The old home barn!
    Scene of my boyhood plays;
    How many memories, sweet and sad,
    Rise up from those old days.

    Through the open door again I ride
    On hayrack heaped full high,
    And toss to the mow the fragrant store,
    Born of the summer sky.

    I leap from the beam, and, buried deep,
    Emerge with laugh and shout;
    Hunt in the hay the stolen nest,
    The hidden eggs seek out.

    Old Dobbin neighs from behind his crib,
    I hear the oxen's tread,
    The breath of the kine comes sweet to me—
    But where is the colt I fed?

    On the floor the hens are scratching still;
    The stout farm-wagon, too, is there;
    The carryall that carried all
    In state to the county fair.

    How rung the barn with merry glee
    When the husking-bee came round,
    And cheeks were aglow with blushes deep,
    When the bright red ears were found.

    Through the open door, across the road,
    A picture framed I see,
    The fields, the wood, the hills afar,
    That hid the world from me.

    What lay beyond I pondered deep,
    A realm most fair it seemed;
    And much I wished to tread its ways
    Of which I long had dreamed.

    I've wandered far; the world so wide,
    That still has lured me on,
    Ne'er gave to me a scene so fair
    As that I gaze upon.

    The old home barn, in boyhood's days,
    A pleasure palace reared;
    To-day it stands a temple filled
    With memories e'er endeared.

    O Artist of the magic wand
    Which thus recalls the past,
    Your work shall hang in memory's hall
    So long as life shall last.

  32. 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

    - Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
    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.

  33. An Evening's Stroll

    by Ed Blair

    When July's sun has spent her fierceness on
    The sweltering earth; I love to ramble then
    Along the narrow banks of dear Elm Creek
    And be for one short hour a boy again.
    To make the rocks skip o'er the waters smooth
    And see the frogs plunge from the water's edge,
    And hear the gentle cooing of the dove
    Among the elms and from the distant hedge.

    Oh, boyhood days ne'er come so near to me
    As in these strolls in Summer eve's twilight;
    I view again the scenes I love so well
    And watch the gentle coming of the night.

  34. I.

    by Christopher Pearse Cranch

    Ah, many a time our memory slips aside
    And leaves the round of present cares and joys,
    To live again the time when we were boys;
    To call our parents back with love and pride;
    To see again the dear ones who have died;
    To dream once more amid the household toys,
    The sports, the jests, the masquerades, the noise,
    The blaze and sparkle of the wood fireside;
    The books, the drawings, and the merry press
    Around the blithe tea-board; the evenings long;
    Rattling backgammon and still, solemn chess;
    And best of all when instrument and song
    Bore us to visionary lands and streams,
    And crowned our nights with coronals of dreams.

  35. XXII. Pennyroyal

    by Christopher Pearse Cranch

    Heavy with cares no winnowing hand could sift,
    Wrapt in a sadness never to be told,
    As o'er the fields and through the woods I strolled,
    Following with restless footstep but the drift
    Of the still August morn, so I might shift
    The scenery of my thoughts, and gild their old
    Monotonous fringes with a light less cold,
    I found the aromatic herb, whose swift
    And sweet associations bore me away
    To boyhood, when beneath an oak like this
    I culled the fragrant leaves. Crude childhood's bliss
    Was in the scent; but brighter smiled the day
    For memories no cold shade could overcast —
    Safe 'mid the unblighted treasures of the past.

  36. The Fire-Flies in the Wheat

    by Harriet Prescott Spofford

    Ah, never of a summer night
    Will life again be half as sweet
    As in that country of delight
    Where straying, staying, with happy feet,
    We watched the fire-flies in the wheat.

    Full dark and deep the starless night,
    Still throbbing with the summer heat;
    There was no ray of any light,
    But dancing, glancing, far and fleet,
    Only the fire-flies in the wheat.

    In that great country of delight,
    Where youth and love the borders meet,
    We paused and lingered for the sight,
    While sparkling, darkling, flashed the sheet
    Of splendid fire-flies in the wheat.

    That night the earth seemed but a height
    Whereon to rest our happy feet,
    Watching one moment that wide flight
    Where lightening, brightening, mount and meet
    Those burning fire-flies in the wheat.

    What whispered words whose memory might
    Make an old heart with madness beat,
    Whose sense no music can recite,
    That chasing, racing, rhythmic beat
    Sings out with fire-flies in the wheat.

    O never of such blest despite
    Dreamed I, whom fate was wont to cheat—
    And like a star your face, and white—
    While mingling, tingling, wild as sleet,
    Stormed all those fire-flies through the wheat.

    Though of that country of delight
    The farther bounds we shall not greet,
    Still, sweet of all, that summer night,
    That maddest, gladdest night most sweet,
    Watching the fire-flies in the wheat!

  37. Memories of a Childhood Home

  38. The Return

    In sorrow he learned this truth —
    One may return to the place of his birth,
    He cannot go back to his youth.

    - John Burroughs
    The Return
    by John Burroughs

    He sought the old scenes with eager feet —
    The scenes he had known as a boy;
    "Oh, for a draught of those fountains sweet,
    And a taste of that vanished joy!"

    He roamed the fields, he wooed the streams,
    His schoolboy paths essayed to trace;
    The orchard ways recalled his dreams,
    The hills were like his mother's face.

    O sad, sad hills! O cold, cold hearth!
    In sorrow he learned this truth —
    One may return to the place of his birth,
    He cannot go back to his youth.

  39. The Old Homestead

    by William Henry Venable

    Enshrined among roses
    The Homestead reposes
    With vines mantled o'er;
    Ground-ivy and clover
    Are running all over
    The stone at the door.

    Pinks, lilies, are blowing,
    Blue violets showing
    Gold hearts to the June;
    Bees going and coming
    Keep evermore humming
    Their Hyblean tune.

    'Twas here that I wasted
    Youth's flower and tasted
    Love's first honey-dew;
    A boy here I slumbered,
    By care unencumbered,
    Long, balmy nights through.

    The wood-birds each morning
    Gave musical warning
    For shadows to fly;
    Their rhapsody choral
    Foretold the auroral
    First flush of the sky.

    With rising emotion
    Akin to devotion
    The scene I behold;—
    With fond recollections
    Of tender affections
    Too sweet to be told.

  40. Our Homestead

    There my mother's voice was always kind,
    And her smile was always sweet;
    And there I've sat on my father's knee,
    And watched his thoughtful brow,

    - Phoebe Cary
    Our Homestead
    by Phoebe Cary

    Our old brown homestead reared its walls,
    From the wayside dust aloof,
    Where the apple-boughs could almost cast
    Their fruitage on its roof:
    And the cherry-tree so near it grew,
    That when awake I've lain,
    In the lonesome nights, I've heard the limbs,
    As they creaked against the pane:
    And those orchard trees, O those orchard trees!
    I've seen my little brothers rocked
    In their tops by the summer breeze.

    The sweet-brier under the window-sill,
    Which the early birds made glad,
    And the damask rose by the garden fence
    Were all the flowers we had.
    I've looked at many a flower since then,
    Exotics rich and rare,
    That to other eyes were lovelier,
    But not to me so fair;
    O those roses bright, O those roses bright!
    I have twined them with my sister's locks,
    That are hid in the dust from sight!

    We had a well, a deep old well,
    Where the spring was never dry,
    And the cool drops down from the mossy stones
    Were falling constantly:
    And there never was water half so sweet
    As that in my little cup,
    Drawn up to the curb by the rude old sweep,
    Which my father's hand set up;
    And that deep old well, O that deep old well!
    I remember yet the splashing sound
    Of the bucket as it fell.

    Our homestead had an ample hearth,
    Where at night we loved to meet;
    There my mother's voice was always kind,
    And her smile was always sweet;
    And there I've sat on my father's knee,
    And watched his thoughtful brow,
    With my childish hand in his raven hair,—
    That hair is silver now!
    But that broad hearth's light, O that broad hearth's light!
    And my father's look, and my mother's smile,—
    They are in my heart to-night.

  41. I Remember, I Remember

    by 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 vi'lets, and the lily-cups,
    Those flowers made of light!
    The lilacs where the robin built,
    And where my brother set
    The laburnum on his birthday,—
    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 hardly cool
    The fever on my brow!

    I remember, I remember,
    The fir trees dark and high;
    I used to think their slender tops
    Were close against the sky:
    It was a childish ignorance,
    But now 'tis little joy
    To know I'm farther off from heav'n
    Than when I was a boy.

  42. Native Attachment

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Though year after year has rolled on to the deep,
    Where their sorrows and joys in oblivion sleep,
    Since my eye fondly lingered to look an adieu,
    As the home of my childhood was fading from view,
    Not a flower nor a vine round my loved native cot,
    Through time's ceaseless changes, has e'er been forgot.

    The song of the robin, that sang on the bough
    Of the neighbouring pine, is as dear to me now;
    The brook looks as clear to my memory's eye,
    And the verdure as fresh on the banks it played by;
    The lamb bounds as joyous and light o'er the glade,
    As when 'mid those scenes I in infancy strayed.

    And oft my dark hours of their cares are beguiled,
    As fancy's bright wand turns me back to the child
    That followed the flight of the butterfly's wing,
    And plucked the red berries that welcomed the spring;
    Or reached for the fair purple cluster, that hung
    Where round the bowed alder the wild tendril clung.

    The splendor of cities, the polish of art
    May seek my devotion, and sue for my heart;
    But no fount of delight on life's landscape will gush
    Like that, which leapt down by the violet and rush;
    No notes come so sweet as the song of the bird,
    Which the ear of the child from the coppice first heard.

    I find not a gem in my pathway so bright
    As the fire-fly, pursued by my young feet at night.
    Earth offers no flowers like the wild ones I wreathed;
    No breeze comes from heaven like the air I first breathed.
    No spot seems so pure in the wide vault on high,
    As that which sent down the first light to my eye!

  43. Recollections

    But the spirit will long to the place of her birth
    From time and its change to rise;
    To soar and recover her primal bloom,

    - Hannah Flagg Gould
    Recollections
    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    I wonder what they have done with the pine,
    Where the red-breast came to sing—
    With the maple, too, where the wandering vine
    So wildly used to fling
    Its loaded arms from bough to bough,
    And if they gather the grapes there now.

    I should like to know if they've killed the bee,
    And carried away the hive;
    If they're broken the heart of my chestnut-tree,
    Or left it still to survive,
    And its laughing burs are showering down
    Their loosened treasures of shining brown.

    And there was a beautiful pond, that stood
    Like an ample azure vase,
    Or a mirror, embosomed in wild green wood,
    For the sun to see his face.
    Have they torn up its lilies to open a sluice
    And let that peaceful prisoner loose?

    Perhaps they have ruined the ancient oak,
    That gave me its grateful shade;
    And its own dead root in its bed is broke
    By the plough, from its branches made;
    Nor am I sure I could find the spot
    Where I had my bower and my mossy grot.

    And shall I go back to my first loved home
    To find how all is changed,
    Alone o'er those altered scenes to roam,
    From my early self estranged?
    Shall I bend me over the glassy brook,
    No more on the face of a child to look?

    No! no! for that loveliest spot upon earth
    Let memory's charm suffice!
    But the spirit will long to the place of her birth
    From time and its change to rise;
    To soar and recover her primal bloom,
    When death with his trophy has stopped at the tomb!

  44. excerpt from "The Young Artist"

    Then will memory love to come
    Through mist and shade, to thine early home,

    - Hannah Flagg Gould
    The Young Artist
    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Sister, gather the buds of Spring,
    All dewy and bright, as they're opening!
    Treasure them up from the frost and blight,
    For a lowering day and a starless night;
    And they will be fresh in thy bosom still,
    When all without may be dark and chill.
    Another will seek to be crowned by thee
    Lord of thy heart and thy destiny!
    Thou may'st bestow, in thy riper years,
    Laurels to water with daily tears.

    Then will memory love to come
    Through mist and shade, to thine early home,
    Within the halo that brightly beams
    Around the scene of thine infant dreams.
    Again thou wilt playfully sit, and look
    On the artless sketch of thy brother's book,
    And own no moment of earthly bliss
    So pure, so holy, and sweet as this!

  45. The Place Where I Was Born

    by James W. Whilt

    There's a little old log cabin,
    And its walls have fallen down,
    Snow has broken down its rafters,
    Not one log that's left is sound.

    The brush obscures the doorway,
    Everything looks so forlorn,
    'Tis the little old log cabin,
    The place where I was born—

    Briers o'errun the pathway
    Which leads to the crystal spring,
    That cradled the tiny brooklet
    Where the oriole used to sing.

    The hills are fields and pastures
    Where I roamed when but a child;
    It was all unbroken forest,
    And it stretched out far and wild.

    The meadows ran in wavelets,
    When the wind so wild and free
    Blew o'er their level surface
    Like a green and billowy sea.

    There was childhood's shout and laughter
    Within that cabin small;
    But to me it was a palace,
    With wide and stately hall.

    Our pleasures there were sweeter
    Than a rose without a thorn,
    In that little old log cabin,—
    The place where I was born.

    Oh! the little old log cabin!
    Where the air was sweet and cool,
    Where our school-house was the forest,
    And we went to Nature's school;

    Could I but re-trace my footsteps
    Over life's uncertain road,
    Could I go back to that cabin,
    Lighter far would be my load.

  46. Home Memories

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    I am thinking of a cottage
    Where the roses used to bloom,
    How they talked beside the pavement
    In low whispers of perfume,
    Or climbed up beside the window
    To look in my little room.

    I am thinking of the door-way
    Where the vine I used to train,
    That snowed down its flaky petals
    With a pleasant summer rain;
    Where I used to sit and listen
    To the old mill’s low refrain.

    I’m thinking of the sunflower, too,
    That towered above the gate;
    Of the friends who called me hither
    When the day was cool and late.
    Ah! those hours seem so distant
    And the year, an ancient date.

    I am thinking of the grape-vine
    Where the crippled robin fed,
    How he lingered there each morning
    ’Till fresh crumbs for him were spread.
    Is he feeding there this summer
    From a stranger’s hand, instead?

    I am thinking of the children
    Who crept to the little yard,
    Begging me to grant permission
    That they play upon the sward.
    Could I bar them from the entry?
    Thus might Heaven me discard.

    I am thinking of a morning
    That wrung from my heart a sigh,
    When I kissed warm lips that trembled,
    With a tear-drop in my eye;
    While I closed our cottage windows
    And pronounced the word—good-bye.

  47. My Pioneer Home In Kansas

    by Ed Blair

    I am weary and must go
    For my mind it seems to stray,
    Back again to boyhood's home
    On the prairie far away.
    Where barefoot I rambled far
    List'ning for old Brindle's bell,
    And then slowly brought the cows
    As the twilight shadows fell.

    None but those who once have dwelt
    Where the prairies stretch away,
    From the pioneer's new home,
    E'er can feel as I today.
    How I long to see the flowers
    Nature planted for me there,
    And to hear the larks sweet song
    Swell out on the balmy air.

    Then at evening from the fields
    O'er our cabin to their nests,
    Swift the prairie chickens flew
    Without hunters to molest.
    And at noon "Bob White" would ring
    Sharply on the summer air,
    To be echoed by a boy
    Listening with rapture there.

    And in Autumn, Oh! how oft
    Have I watched the prairie fire
    From our cabin home at night.
    Yet I never seemed to tire,
    Watched until it spread away;
    Over hills and vales and mounds,
    'Till the line of fire seemed but
    Musketry of battle grounds.

    Take me back—yes, take me back,
    To the cabin on the wild,
    To my trundle bed once more,
    Where I slept when but a child.
    Take me to my cabin home
    'Mong the blue stem far away,
    Out upon the prairies wild
    To my Kansas home today.

  48. The Lilacs Mother Planted

    by Ed Blair

    I listened by the doorstep as the evening shadows fell,
    While from the distance floated the faint tinklings of a bell,
    The night hawk circled overhead then dropped straight down below,
    The same as when I first lived there, in childhood, long ago.
    The trees have grown much taller in the yard where once I played,
    And now looked so majestic in their summer robes arrayed;
    And near the walk the lilacs flung their fragrance to the air
    The lilacs that my darling mother planted for us there.

    Ah, yes, what tender memories are forced on us again,
    Who leave our home in boyhood days and then return grown men;
    To seek again the playgrounds which in youth we loved so well,
    The shade beneath the apple tree, the old pump at the well,
    The woodpile, and the cellar door, the dear old blacksmith shop,
    The granary that held the corn with martin box on top.
    But dearer than the playgrounds was the perfume in the air,
    From those dear lilac bushes that my mother planted there.

    Oh, sweet and fragrant lilac, the one she loved so well,
    Thy fragrance brings to memory sad thoughts I cannot tell;
    Sweet lullabies of childhood sung at the evening rest,
    By mother clasping closely the one she loved the best.
    A voice that gently whispered sweet words of love to me,
    A face so kind and gentle, a heart with love so free;
    Still yet my heart throbs feel them, still yet I see them there,
    When lilacs that she planted with fragrance fill the air.

  49. The Old Farmhouse

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    A crystal spring, a sunny hill,
    A gray old house with mossy sill,
    Hemmed in by orchard trees,
    With massive trunks of age untold,
    Whose luscious fruits, like mounds of gold
    When autumn nights grow crisp and cold,
    Lay heaped about their knees.

    And when the trees, bare, gaunt and grim,
    Tnvsing aloft each naked limb,
    Breasted the sleety rain;
    When the summer sounds were heard no more,
    When birds had sought a southern shore,
    When flowers lay dead about the door,
    And winter reigned again:

    Then met the household band beside
    A clean swept hearth, a chimney wide,
    Where roared a maple fire.
    When all the streams were fettered fast,
    When fiercely blew the wintry blast,
    And clouds of snow went whirling past.
    The logs were piled the higher.

    How fondly memory recalls
    The cheer within those old gray walls,
    Beside that shining hearth.
    peaceful scene of calm content!
    Where happy faces came and went,
    And heart with heart was closely blent,
    In sadness as in mirth!

    I see them all: the aged sire
    Deep in some book; the glowing fire
    Gleams on his silver hair.
    The mother knits; her loving eye
    Smiles on the children flitting by;
    Her needles, clicking as they fly,
    Tell of her household care.

    A group of stalwart boys I see,
    Brimful of mirth—as boys will be—
    When evening tasks were done:
    And—least of all—a little maid,
    Her small head crowned with auburn braid,
    Who, when the merry games were played,
    Was foremost in the fun.

    How gay we were! what songs we sang,
    Till the old walls with echoes rang,
    While the wind roared without.
    Again we sat, wild-eyed and pale,
    And listened to some ancient tale—
    How witches rode upon the gale,
    Or white ghosts roamed about.

    'Twas long ago; those days are o'er:
    I hear those songs no more, no more,
    Yet listen while I weep.
    Time rules us all. No joys abide.
    That household band is scattered wide,
    And some lie on the green hillside,
    Wrapped in a dreamless sleep.

  50. Amid the Corn

    by Hattie Howard

    When roasting ears are peeping through
    Their silken tassel curls,
    When corn leaves glisten in the dew
    Like ribbons strewn with pearls;
    When Phoebus' splendor is revealed
    And gilds the summer morn,
    I love to walk the furrowed field
    Among the rows of corn.

    It brings to mind those vanished days
    In adolescence sweet,
    When through familiar seas of maze
    With ardent, childish feet
    That never tired, the glebe I trod
    The "hired man" to warn
    Where grew the tares, or where a clod
    Obstructed hills of corn.

    A happy home upon the farm
    In memory holds a place,
    That city life with all its charm
    Can never quite efface.
    O give me back the days of yore!
    When I, a farmer born,
    In pantalet and pinafore
    Grew up amid the corn.

    O that I could to nature true
    From etiquette relax,
    And follow, as I used to do,
    Papa's unerring tracks!
    A scholar, who could wield the pen,
    Whose honors well were borne,
    Was he—this noblest, best of men—
    Who plowed and hoed the corn.

    I'd rather be, though dumb and droll,
    An effigy to-day,
    A man of straw upon a pole
    To scare the crows away,
    Than like a figure fashion-spun
    A palace to adorn,
    Disdainfully look down on one
    Who works amid the corn.

  51. Memories of Loved Ones

  52. A Memory

    Soul's silence to the past replies,
    When love and hope illumined each,
    Within a girl's blue eyes.

    - William Stanley Braithwaite
    A Memory
    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    My heart to thee an answer makes,
    O long, slow whisper of the sea,
    Whose charm of mournful music wakes
    A dream, a memory.

    Touched hands, met lips, and soft fair speech —
    Soul's silence to the past replies,
    When love and hope illumined each,
    Within a girl's blue eyes.

  53. The Playthings

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "Oh! mother, here's the very top,
    That brother used to spin;
    The vase with seeds I've seen him drop
    To call our robin in;
    The line that held his pretty kite,
    His bow, his cup and ball,
    The slate on which he learned to write,
    His feather, cap and all!"

    "My dear, I'd put the things away
    Just where they were before:
    Go, Anna, take him out to play,
    And shut the closet door.
    Sweet innocent! he little thinks
    The slightest thought expressed,
    Of him that's lost, too deeply sinks
    Within a mother's breast!"

  54. Pictures of Memory

    And when the arrows of sunset
    Lodged in the tree tops bright,
    He fell, in his saintlike beauty,
    Asleep by the gates of light.

    - Alice Cary
    Pictures of Memory
    by Alice Cary

    Among the beautiful pictures
    That hang on Memory's wall,
    Is one of a dim old forest,
    That seemeth best of all;
    Not for its gnarled oaks olden,
    Dark with the mistletoe;
    Not for the violets golden,
    That sprinkle the vale below;
    Not for the milk-white lilies,
    That lean from the fragrant hedge,
    Coquetting all day with the sunbeams,
    And stealing their golden edge;
    Not for the vines on the upland,
    Where the bright red berries rest,
    Nor the pinks, nor the pale, sweet cowslip,
    It seemeth to me the best.

    I once had a little brother,
    With eyes that were dark and deep;
    In the lap of that dim old forest,
    He lieth in peace asleep:
    Light as the down of the thistle,
    Free as the winds that blow,
    We roved there the beautiful summers,
    The summers of long ago;
    But his feet on the hills grew weary,
    And, one of the autumn eves,
    I made for my little brother,
    A bed of the yellow leaves.

    Sweetly his pale arms folded
    My neck in a meek embrace,
    As the light of immortal beauty
    Silently covered his face;
    And when the arrows of sunset
    Lodged in the tree tops bright,
    He fell, in his saintlike beauty,
    Asleep by the gates of light.
    Therefore, of all the pictures
    That hang on Memory's wall,
    The one of the dim old forest
    Seemeth the best of all.

  55. The Grandfather

    by Charles G. Eastman

    The farmer sat in his easy-chair
    Smoking his pipe of clay,
    While his hale old wife with busy care,
    Was clearing the dinner away;
    A sweet little girl with fine blue eyes,
    On her grandfather's knee, was catching flies.

    The old man laid his hand on her head,
    With a tear on his wrinkled face,
    He thought how often her mother, dead,
    Had sat in the selfsame place;
    As the tear stole down from his half-shut eye,
    "Don't smoke!" said the child, "how it makes you cry!"

    The house dog lay stretched out on the floor,
    Where the shade, afternoons, used to steal;
    The busy old wife by the open door
    Was turning the spinning wheel,
    And the old brass clock on the manteltree
    Had plodded along to almost three.

    Still the farmer sat in his easy-chair,
    While close to his heaving breast
    The moistened brow and the cheek so fair
    Of his sweet grandchild were pressed;
    His head bent down, all her soft hair lay;
    Fast asleep were they both on that summer day.

  56. The Breast-Pin

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Come, thou dear, thou hallowed treasure,
    Make thy home upon my breast,
    Till my days have filled their measure,
    Till I, too, am gone to rest!

    Not because I love your glitter,
    Dazzling gold and sparkling stone,
    For your charms have dashed with bitter
    Life's whole fount for many a one.

    Not for these, bright gift, I'm taking
    Thee to be my bosom friend!
    'T is for thoughts that thou art waking,
    Memory, but at death to end!

    That sweet face, so pale and altered,
    Painted here, can fancy see,
    Every fainting word that faltered
    On her lip, I read in thee.

    May thy sacred name be spoken
    Never to the mortal ear!
    For, a dying sister's token,
    I baptize thee, with a tear!

  57. Memorials

    by Emily Dickinson

    Death sets a thing significant
    The eye had hurried by,
    Except a perished creature
    Entreat us tenderly

    To ponder little workmanships
    In crayon or in wool,
    With "This was last her fingers did,"
    Industrious until

    The thimble weighed too heavy,
    The stitches stopped themselves,
    And then 't was put among the dust
    Upon the closet shelves.

    A book I have, a friend gave,
    Whose pencil, here and there,
    Had notched the place that pleased him, —
    At rest his fingers are.

    Now, when I read, I read not,
    For interrupting tears
    Obliterate the etchings
    Too costly for repairs.

  58. To Yesterday

    by Ruby Archer

    O Yesterday, you saw him. In your warm
    Sweet light we wandered idly, happily.
    Unto your deep of blue his eyes were lent,
    And through your moments lingered yet his voice.
    Bide near me, Yesterday. You know of him;
    And I may turn to you—now he is gone—
    Remind you of a glance, a word, a touch,
    A thousand glints of soul revealed to soul
    And thus defer the thought of poor To-day.

  59. Memories Forgotten

  60. Forgotten

    Behold the keenest marksman!
    The most accomplished shot!
    Time's sublimest target
    Is a soul 'forgot'!

    - Emily Dickinson
    Forgotten
    by Emily Dickinson

    There is a word
    Which bears a sword
    Can pierce an armed man.
    It hurls its barbed syllables,—
    At once is mute again.
    But where it fell
    The saved will tell
    On patriotic day,
    Some epauletted brother
    Gave his breath away.

    Wherever runs the breathless sun,
    Wherever roams the day,
    There is its noiseless onset,
    There is its victory!

    Behold the keenest marksman!
    The most accomplished shot!
    Time's sublimest target
    Is a soul 'forgot'!

  61. Forgetfulness

    by Anna Hempstead Branch

    She was so recent. She had not yet learned
    The sweet observances that make their days
    Beautiful to the angels. She went dim
    Among their shining, and unoccupied
    Wistfully watched their pastimes. Then came one
    Who brought a fruit.
    "Eat thou," the splendor said.
    I will not eat," said she.
    For in his eyes
    She saw forgetfulness and was afraid.

    Then to her love on earth an angel came.
    We cannot heal her of her listlessness
    Nor teach her the new ways, and memory
    Grieves her with tears. She will not eat the fruit
    That makes us wise and shows us to forget."

    Dark is the road that leads to Heaven for one
    Who is not dead. No angel goes with him.
    Blind and with torn, vague feet and all alone
    He came among them. Through the shining place

    They saw him rush and saw the scarlet blood
    Drip through the brightness. To his Love he came,
    And, lifting in his haggard hands her cheek,
    He kissed her on the mouth and showed the fruit
    The Angel brought him—terrible and sweet.

    "Eat, Love," he said.
    And she, that loved him, ate.
    Then smiled at him with unremembering eyes,
    And with her heavenly comrades turned away.
    With bleeding feet back to the earth he came,
    And through the barren days remembered her.

  62. The Forgotten Grave

    Winds of summer fields
    Recollect the way, —
    Instinct picking up the key
    Dropped by memory.

    - Emily Dickinson
    The Forgotten Grave
    by Emily Dickinson

    After a hundred years
    Nobody knows the place, —
    Agony, that enacted there,
    Motionless as peace.

    Weeds triumphant ranged,
    Strangers strolled and spelled
    At the lone orthography
    Of the elder dead.

    Winds of summer fields
    Recollect the way, —
    Instinct picking up the key
    Dropped by memory.

  63. Heart, we will forget him!

    by Emily Dickinson

    Heart, we will forget him!
    You and I, to-night!
    You may forget the warmth he gave,
    I will forget the light.

    When you have done, pray tell me,
    That I my thoughts may dim;
    Haste! lest while you're lagging,
    I may remember him!

  64. Near the End of April

    Near the end of April
    Twenty Mays have met,
    And half a word and half a dream
    Remember and forget.

    - William Stanley Braithwaite
    Near the End of April
    by William Stanley Braithwaite

    Near the end of April,
    On the verge of May —
    And O my heart, the woods were dusk
    At the close of day.

    Half a word was spoken
    Out of half a dream,
    And God looked in my soul and saw
    A dawn rise and gleam.

    Near the end of April
    Twenty Mays have met,
    And half a word and half a dream
    Remember and forget.

  65. The Old Canoe

    by Anonymous

    Where the rocks are gray, and the shore is steep,
    And the waters below look dark and deep;
    Where the rugged pine in its lonely pride
    Leans gloomily over the murky tide;
    Where the reeds and rushes are long and lank,
    And the weeds grow thick on the winding bank;
    Where the shadow is heavy the whole day through,—
    There lies at its moorings the old canoe.

    The useless paddles are idly dropped,
    Like a sea-bird's wing that the storm has lopped,
    And crossed on the railing one o'er one,
    Like the folded hands when the work is done;
    While busily back and forth between
    The spider stretches his silvery screen,
    And the solemn owl, with its dull tu-whoo,
    Settles down on the side of the old canoe.

    The stern half sunk in the slimy wave
    Rots slowly away in its living grave,
    And the green moss creeps o'er its dull decay,
    Hiding its mouldering dust away,
    Like the hand that plants o'er the tomb a flower,
    Or the ivy that mantles the falling tower;
    While many a blossom of loveliest hue
    Springs up o'er the stern of the old canoe.

    The currentless waters are dead and still,
    The twilight-wind plays with the boat at will,
    And lazily in and out again
    It floats the length of its rusty chain;
    Like the weary march of the hands of Time
    That meet and part at the noontide chime,
    As the shore is kissed at each turn anew,
    By the dripping bow of the old canoe.

    Oh, many a time, with careless hand,
    I have pushed it away from the pebbly strand!
    And paddled it down where the stream runs quick,
    Where the whirls are wild and the eddies thick.
    And laughed as I leaned o'er the rocking side,
    And looked below in the broken tide,
    To see that the faces and boats were two
    That were mirrored back from the old canoe.

    But now, as I lean o'er the crumbling side
    And look below in the sluggish tide,
    The face that I see there is graver grown,
    And the laugh that I hear has a soberer tone,
    And the hands that lent to the light skiff wings
    Have grown familiar with sterner things.
    But I love to think of the hours that sped
    As I rocked where the whirls their white spray shed,
    Ere the blossom waved or the green grass grew
    O'er the mouldering stern of the old canoe.

  66. Forgetfulness

    by James Russell Lowell

    There's a haven of sure rest
    From the loud world's bewildering stress
    As a bird dreaming on her nest,
    As dew hid in a rose's breast,
    As Hesper in the glowing West;
    So the heart sleeps
    In thy calm deeps,
    Serene Forgetfulness!

    No sorrow in that place may be,
    The noise of life grows less and less:
    As moss far down within the sea,
    As, in white lily caves, a bee,
    As life in a hazy reverie;
    So the heart's wave
    In thy dim cave,
    Hushes, Forgetfulness!

    Duty and care fade far away
    What toil may be we cannot guess:
    As a ship anchored in the bay,
    As a cloud a summer-noon astray,
    As water-blooms in a breezeless day;
    So, 'neath thine eyes,
    The full heart lies,
    And dreams, Forgetfulness!

  67. My Jewels

    by James W. Whilt

    The jewels of life are many,
    But the jewel most sacred to me
    And the one that I prize the highest,
    Is the jewel of memory.

    My jewel of love that I cherished,
    And cared for day by day,
    Faded just like a flower
    And finally passed away.

    My jewel of hope lost its lustre.
    It sparkles for me no more,
    Yet it tells me that I will meet her,
    Across on the other shore.

    My jewel of faith was the smallest,
    Yet it's growing year by year,
    And as I gaze upon it,
    I can feel some presence near.

    When I am alone in the twilight,
    And weary with cares of the day,
    I look out upon the meadows,
    Where the fire-flies are at play,—

    And I open this cherished casket,
    Where I keep these jewels rare,
    And when I gaze upon them
    My troubles pass into the air.

    I like to look up at the stars
    That sparkle up above,
    And wonder if she is up there,
    The one that I fondly love.

    Then this jewel I call memory,
    So crystal-clear and deep,
    I clasp to my breast and hold it,
    Till at last I fall asleep.

  68. You Will Forget Me

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    You will forget me. The years are so tender,
    They bind up the wounds which we think are so deep;
    This dream of our youth will fade out as the splendor
    Fades from the skies when the sun sinks to sleep;
    The cloud of forgetfulness, over and over
    Will banish the last rosy colors away,
    And the fingers of time will weave garlands to cover
    The scar which you think is a life-mark to-day.

    You will forget me. The one boon you covet
    Now above all things will soon seem no prize,
    And the heart, which you hold not in keeping to prove it
    True or untrue, will lose worth in your eyes.
    The one drop today, that you deem only wanting
    To fill your life-cup to the brim, soon will seem
    But a valueless mite; and the ghost that is haunting
    The aisles of your heart will pass out with the dream.

    You will forget me; will thank me for saying
    The words which you think are so pointed with pain.
    Time loves a new lay; and the dirge he is playing
    Will change for you soon to a livelier strain.
    I shall pass from your life—I shall pass out forever,
    And these hours we have spent will be sunk in the past.
    Youth buries its dead; grief kills seldom or never—
    And forgetfulness covers all sorrows at last.

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