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The Old Homestead

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          THE OLD HOMESTEAD

'Tis an old deserted homestead
  On the outskirts of the town,
Where the roof is all moss-covered,
  And the walls are tumbling down;
But around that little cottage
  Do my brightest mem'ries cling,
For 'twas there I spent the moments
  Of my youth,—life's happy spring.

I remember how I used to
  Swing upon the old front gate,
While the robin in the tree tops
  Sung a night song to his mate;
And how later in the evening,
  As the beaux were wont to do,
Mr. Perkins, in the parlor,
  Sat and sparked my sister Sue.

There my mother—heaven bless her!—
  Kissed or spanked as was our need,
And by smile or stroke implanted
  In our hearts fair virtue's seed;
While my father, man of wisdom,
  Lawyer keen, and farmer stout,
Argued long with neighbor Dobbins
  How the corn crops would turn out.

Then the quiltings and the dances—
  How my feet were wont to fly,
While the moon peeped through the barn chinks
  From her stately place on high.
Oh, those days, so sweet, so happy,
  Ever backward o'er me roll;
Still the music of that farm life
  Rings an echo in my soul.

Now the old place is deserted,
  And the walls are falling down;
All who made the home life cheerful,
  Now have died or moved to town.
But about that dear old cottage
  Shall my mem'ries ever cling,
For 'twas there I spent the moments
  Of my, youth,—life's happy spring.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.