by Abraham Lincoln
My childhood home I see again, And sadden with the view; And still, as memory crowds my brain, There's pleasure in it too. O Memory! thou midway world 'Twixt earth and paradise, Where things decayed and loved ones lost In dreamy shadows rise, And, freed from all that's earthly vile, Seem hallowed, pure, and bright, Like scenes in some enchanted isle All bathed in liquid light. As dusky mountains please the eye When twilight chases day; As bugle-notes that, passing by, In distance die away; As leaving some grand waterfall, We, lingering, list its roar— So memory will hallow all We've known, but know no more. Near twenty years have passed away Since here I bid farewell To woods and fields, and scenes of play, And playmates loved so well. Where many were, but few remain Of old familiar things; But seeing them, to mind again The lost and absent brings. The friends I left that parting day, How changed, as time has sped! Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray, And half of all are dead. I hear the loved survivors tell How nought from death could save, Till every sound appears a knell, And every spot a grave. I range the fields with pensive tread, And pace the hollow rooms, And feel (companion of the dead) I'm living in the tombs. Source: Poem-A-Day from the Academy of American Poets.