The spring is come forth, but no spring is for me,
Like the spring of my boyhood, on woodland and lea,
When flowers brought me heaven, and knew me again
In the joy of their blooming o'er mountain and plain
My thoughts are confined, and imprisoned — O when
Will freedom find me my own vallies again?


The wind breath[e]s so sweet, and the day is so calm;
In the woods and the thicket the flowers look so warm,
And the grass is so green, so delicious and sweet,
O when shall my manhood my youth's vallies meet,
The scenes where my children are laughing at Play,
The scenes where my memory is fading away.


The primrose looks happy in every field
In strange woods the violets their odours will yield
And flowers in the sunshine all brightly arrayed,
Will bloom just as fresh and as sweet in the shade:
But the wild flowers that bring me most joy & content
Are the blossoms that blow where my childhood was spent.


Then I played like a flower in the shade and the sun
And slept as in Eden when daylight was done
There I lived with my parents, and felt my heart free,
And love — that was yet joy or sorrow to be,
Joy and sorrow it has been, like sunshine and showers
And their sun is still bright o'er my happiest hours.


The trees they are naked, the bushes are bare
And the fields they are brown, as if winter lay there;
But the violets are there by the dykes and the dell,
Where I played " hen and chickens" — and heard the church bell
Which called me to prayer-book and sermons in vain
O when shall I see my own vallies again? —


The churches look bright as sun at noon day,
There meadows look green e're the winter's away,
There the pooty still lies for the school boy to find
And a thought often brings these sweet places to mind
Where the trees waved like thunder no music so well
Then nought sounded harsh but the school-calling bell.


There are spots where I played, there are spots where I loved,
There are scenes where the tales of my choice were approved
As green as at first — and their memory will be
The dearest of lifes recollections to me! —
The objects seen there in the care of my heart
Are as fair as at first — and will never depart.


Though no names are mentioned to sanction my themes
Their heart's beat with mine and make real my dreams:
Their memories with mine their diurnal course run,
True as night to the stars, and as day to the sun.
And as they are now so their memories will be
'Long as sense, truth, and reason, remaineth with me.
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