(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

The Lanes Of Boyhood

DOWN the lanes of boyhood, let me go once more,
Let me tread the paths of youth that I have trod before;
Let me wander once again where the skies are bright,
Freckled face and tanned of leg, roadways of delight,
Picking checkerberries as I laze along the way,
Hunting for the robin's nest — dozing in the hay.

Down the lanes of boyhood, there are joys untold,
Hidden caves of precious things, stores of yellow gold;
Friends that only boyhood knows, birds and trees and flowers,
Nodding to the youngsters 'Howdy do' in morning hours;
Skies that bend above them in the gentlest sort of way,
Fleecy clouds that seem to stop and watch them at their play.

Down the lanes of boyhood, hear their laughter ring!
See the tousled army marching straightway to a spring;
Flat upon the ground they fall, just to get a drink,
Here's a thirst emporium where glasses never clink,
No glittering place of red and gold the passer-by to snare,
Yet, rich with Nature's coloring, a thousand times more fair.

Down the lanes of boyhood, where innocence abounds,
A medley gay of colors, a revelry of sounds;
Where hearts are never broken and wrong is never known,
Where sorrow never enters and no one weeps alone.
And yet we never can return when once we've journeyed on,
Old age is ever wishing for the joys forever gone.

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