06 November 2013

The Traveler's Return - An 1827 Poem

By J.H.B.
I stood upon a pleasant hill, with summer verdure crowned,
And tall old trees, the giant kings of nature, stood around;
A lovely vale before me lay, and on the golden air,
Crept the blue smokes in quiet trains from roof's that clustered there.
I saw where in my early years I passed the pleasant hours,
Beside the winding brook that still went prattling to its flowers;
And still around my parent's home the slender poplars grew,
Whose glossy leaves were swayed and turned by every wind that blew.
The clover, with its heavy bloom, was tossing in the gale,
And the tall crowfoot's golden stars, still sprinkled all the vale,
And the fragrant bloom of orchard ground, and woodland foliage nigh,
Broke with their freshest beauty yet, upon the startled eye.
The wild vine, in the woody glen, swung o'er the sounding brook,
And the red robin and the wren chirped gaily in their nook;
I saw the clouds on crimson wings float softly through the sky,
When evening's blush came o'er the hills where beechen forests lie.
All there are what they were when last these pleasant hills I ranged,
But the faces that I knew before, by time and toll are changed,
Where youth and bloom were on the cheek, and gladness on the brow,
I only see the marks of care, and pain, and sorrow now.
September 15, 1827. Providence Patriot and Columbian Phenix 25(74): 1. From the U.S. Review and Literary Gazette.