A Song of Nashville

Oh! Nashville, Athens of the South,
Thy valleys beauty fills;
How can I tell with human mouth
How well I love thy hills?

Thy hills with beauty far renowned
Where rugged glory rules,
Are from a dozen places crowned
With colleges and schools.

A modern Attica in truth,
The South may call thee well,
Thy benefits unto her youth
Will coming ages tell.

For to thy founts of learning here
Fair Attica's chosen seat,
Ambition turneth year by year
Full many a thousand feet.

To minds with aspirations led,
And ardor of the heart,
Are ever endless fields outspread
In sciences and art.

And year by year dispensing truth,
Thy guiding hand is great,
In that thou givest through thy youth
The destinies of state.

Oh Nashville, could I sing of thee,
Praise worthy of thy name,
Approximate what is to be
The future of thy fame.

Thy institutions, hillsides bright,
Beneath a Southern sky,
Make scenes of beauty and delight
To every traveler's eye.

O'er all thy byways round about,
Once on thy grassy slopes,
I was a wanderer in and out,
With all a student's hopes.

To-day I walked those same old rounds,
I walked in days gone by,
And heard from fields the same sweet sounds,
Beneath the same blue sky.

The mocking bird in bush and tree,
With melody and voice,
In ecstacy did welcome me,
And bade my heart rejoice.

The hills and dales were in the smile
Of spring as they had been;
And seemed to welcome without guile,
Their lover back again.

The lazy herds were feeding still,
On slope and grassy plain,
And strangely in my heart would fill
A pleasure kin to pain.

Old friends were gone and former ties,
Were broken and estranged;
But my old haunts and smiling skies,
Were constant and unchanged.

But not more constant, nor more true,
My fields, my skies above,
Than came your wanderer back to you,
Unchanged in heart and love.
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