And ever whispered, mild and low,
'Come, be a child once more!'
And waved their long arms to and fro,
And beckoned solemnly and slow;
O, I could not choose but go
Into the woodlands hoar;
Into the blithe and breathing air,
Into the solemn wood.
Solemn and silent everywhere!
Nature with folded hands seemed there,
Kneeling at her evening prayer!
Like one in prayer I stood.
Before me rose an avenue
Of tall and sombrous pines;
Abroad their fan-like branches grew,
And, where the sunshine darted throught
Spread a vapor soft and blue,
In long and sloping lines.
And, falling on my weary brain,
Like a fast-falling shower,
The dreams of youth came back again,
Low lispings of the summer rain,
Dropping on the ripened grain,
As once upon the flower.
Visions of childhood! Stay, O stay!
Ye were so sweet and wild!
And distant voices seemed to say,
'It cannot be! They pass away!
Other themes demand thy lay;
Thou art no more a child!