30 January 2014

The Old Barn

No hay upon the wide-spread mow,
No horses in the stalls,
No broad-toed oxen, sheep or cows
Within the time-worn walls.
The wind howls through its shattered doors,
Now swinging to and fro;
And o'er its once frequented floors
No footsteps come and go.
But once, alas! each vacant bay,
And every space around,
Was teeming with sweet-scented nay,
The harvest of the ground.
And well-fed cattle in a row,
At mangers ranged along,
Each fastened by an oaken bow
Stood at the stanchions strong.
But where so long ago old Dobbin stood,
His master's pride and care,
And from his hand received his food,
And now is vacant there.
Then these broad fields, from hill to plain,
Waved in the summer air,
With choicest crops of grass or grain,
Now left so bleak and bare.
How sweet the music of the flail,
Resounding far and clear,
As borne upon the passing gale
It reached the distant ear.
The blackbird hailed the dewy morn
From out his rushy perch;
The sparrow sand upon the thorn,
The cat-bird on the birch.
The robin from the highest tree
Sent forth his whistle clear,
His soul partaking of the glee
That wakes the vernal year.
And childhood's merry shout was heard
The farm-yard choir strong,
Which, mingling with the note of bird,
Enriched the tide of song.
The master on his daily round
With conscious pride would go,
His faithful dog, close by him found,
Attending to and fro.
Old honest "Trip" long since has gone,
And moulders 'neath the wall;
No more he takes the welcome bone,
Or hears his master's call.
The kindly master, too has died,
The matron in her grace,
And dead, or scattered far and wide,
The remnant of their race.
Anonymous. November 9, 1871. Elk County Advocate 1(36): 1.