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Childhood o'er me fondly lingers--
Wraps again her weary child;
Brings the scenes which oft I courted,
Brings the faces once that smiled--

 

Brings the fields and groves in beauty,
With the home that gave me birth,
'Midst the tall trees sweetly nestled
In the fairest spot of earth.

 

Near the old green sloping orchard,
Filled with apple blooms in spring,
Made a Paradise of splendor,
Poets well might love to sing.

 

Down where beechen shadows gather,
Where the woodland matins rung,
Quivering in delicious music,
Deep the twilight wood among--

 

Ran the little crystal brooklet,
Singing o'er its pebbly bed,
Gurgling past its widening margins,
Where the wild flower dipt its head.

 

Oh, 'twere worth the half a lifetime,
One brief hour again to see--
One bright hour of golden childhood,
By that stream beneath that tree.

 

There I heard ├ćolian echoes
Quavering in the forest's nod,
Hymning grand, impassioned anthems
In the poetry of God.

 

Nature's hand in beauty planted
Rarest flowers within that shade;
There the dark-eyed forest maiden
Came to deck her jetty braid.

 

She hath gone--hath gone forever!
Time has rung her fated knell!
So my memory, too, will vanish
From the scenes within that dell.

 

Round the poor heart's broken altars
Memory broods with tender care;
Flowers from childhood's meadows gathered,
Oft she brings and offers there.