(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

The Old Days

The old days--the far days--
The overdear and fair!--
The old days--the lost days--
How lovely they were!
The old days of Morning,
With the dew-drench on the flowers
And apple-buds and blossoms
Of those old days of ours.

Then was the _real_ gold
Spendthrift Summer flung;
Then was the _real_ song
Bird or Poet sung!
There was never censure then,--
Only honest praise--
And all things were worthy of it
In the old days.

There bide the true friends--
The first and the best;
There clings the green grass
Close where they rest:
Would they were here? No;--
Would _we_ were _there_!...
The old days--the lost days--
How lovely they were!

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