The Good Old Time

by John Vance Cheney

John Vance Cheney

A gray old orchard, scarred as by battle,

A row of poplars gaunt and hoar,

Dandelions, lilacs, and no-name roses,

And the pewee over the door;

Stanch weeds, stiff grasses that challenge the winter,

Wild cherries, red ripe on the wall,

The song of the birds in the hush of the morning,

At evening, the low cattle-call;

Savage paths a-bristle with burdock and thistle,

Strong sun, and shadow as strong,

Quick brooks that learn the song of the upland,

And sing it the still night long;

The clover, the laughter, the chat in the shadow,

The noon horn's lusty alarm,

The halting mower, with a stroke at the sweat-bee,

Slowly dropping his brown bare arm; —

Come back to me ever, you long-faded glories,

Bringing the bygone day;

Weave in my dream the seasons together

In your own dear wayward way.

The march is forward, the past is in ashes,

On the wreck of the old is risen the new;

But the boy in my heart with a shout still follows

Where the mowers swing out in the dew.

Last updated September 07, 2017