The Voice of Home to the Prodigal.

Oh ! when wilt thou return1
To thy spirit’s early loves ?2
To the freshness of the morn,3
To the stillness of the groves ?4
The summer-birds are calling5
Thy household porch around,6
And the merry waters falling,7
With sweet laughter in their sound.8
Oh ! thou hast wander’d long9
From thy home, without a guide,10
And thy native woodland song11
In thine alter’d heart hath died.12
Thou hast flung the wealth away,13
And the glory of thy spring ;14
And to thee the leaves’ light play15
Is a long-forgotten thing.16
O’er the image of the sky17
Which the lake’s clear bosom wore18
Darkly may shadows lie19
But not for evermore.20
Give back thy heart again21
To the freedom of the woods22
To the birds’ triumphant strain,23
To the mountain solitudes !24
But when wilt thou return ?25
—Along thine own pure air26
There are young sweet voices borne27
Oh ! should not thine be there ?28
Still at thy father’s board29
There is kept a place for thee,30
And, by thy smile restored,31
Joy round the hearth shall be.32
Still hath thy mother’s eye,33
Thy coming step to greet,34
A look of days gone by,35
Tender and gravely sweet.36
Still, when the prayer is said,37
For thee kind bosoms yearn ;38
For thee fond tears are shed39
Oh ! when wilt thou return ?40