The Rock Where My Mother Played

I hear the notes of the whippoorwill
As of old in the gathering shade;
I sit by the rock on the quiet hill
Where in girlhood my mother played.

With cheeks out-blooming the morning flowers,
And with heart as light as May,
It was here that she came in the golden hours,
By the lichened rock to play:

A granite waif, by glacier borne
From a far-away northern sea;
It seemed so lonely, from kindred torn,
That she kept it company.

Till all in fancy or witching dream
It shone with a glimmering light,
While fairies trooped in the moon's pale beam,
To dance through the summer night.

And such was her tender grace to me,
As we wandered the forest wild,
That ever the fairies seemed to be
Her playmates when a child.

And she, a queen of the Sylphid race,
On her silvery throne held sway;
But alas! I dream of her girlish face,
And the rock is cold and gray.

For the fairies went when my mother died,
And my years were scarcely ten;
I come to-night from wandering wide,
But they never will come again.

I love the garden and orchard old,
The meadows her footsteps pressed,
And the stately oaks that shook their gold
In the lap of their gentle guest.

I love the spring and the rippling rill,
Where in evening she often strayed;
But dearer to me the quiet hill
And the rock where my mother played.
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