The Old Home.

Ever and ever when spring-tide comes,1
Of the dear old home I dream,2
Where the skylark sings and the wild bee hums,3
And through the meadows the cowslips gleam ;4
And I hear on lawn and on springing grass5
Footsteps that never again will pass.6
Real they seem as the footsteps near,7
Though they stopped so long ago ;8
In the dead of the night their sound I hear,9
Yet they cannot come to my door I know.10
Rough and short was the way they trod ;11
Now they lie under the churchyard sod.12
But the may is out, and the gorse is bright,13
As in days of long ago,14
And the primrose smiles with its dewy light15
In the glades I used to know.16
It seems so strange that I could have been17
The child I remember in that calm scene !18
When a voice is hushed, and a step is missed,19
That but now kept time with our own,20
And the hands that clasped and the lips that kissed21
From all mortal love have gone ;22
Then the magic of life’s spring-time is past,23
And we know ’tis a sorrowful world at last !24
Why come these thoughts with a passionate cry25
Of days that we all have known ?26
’Twas a breath of spring that went wondering by,27
’Twas the scent of the lilac buds half-blown,28
’Twas a glimpse of the pale laburnum gold :29
How it glistens now in my home of old !30
When the death-mists over my eyelids creep,31
I think while a breath remains32
A vision will to my memory leap33
Of the old, old joys and pains,34
Linked with the home that has passed away,35
Yet seems like the home of yesterday.36