Grand Haven Daily Tribune  August 23, 1898


The Contrast.


How oft in age I sit and sigh

For childhood’s happy spring;

When, free as thought I used to lie

Beneath the blue New England sky,

And watch the fleecy clouds go by

Like birds upon the wing.


How oft when fields and woods were green,

I’ve started with the sun;

And through the groves of maples clean,

Over the granite hills serene,

And down the vales that lay between,

A barefoot boy I run.


I loved the rocks, and brooks, and trees,

Away from toil’s alarms;

And in the soft warm summer breeze,

I’ve listened to the birds and bees,

‘Till slumber had by slow degrees

Secured me in her arms.


Each woodland tree seemed like a friend,

Ingenious, and free;

How gracefully their forms would bend,

As if some blessing to extend!

How courteously they seemed to send

Kind greetings unto me!


When first the robin came to sing

Among those greenwood trees;

I watched the swelling flower buds swing,

Until each one on rosy wing,

Out from its cradle seemed to spring,

To greet the balmy breeze.


There I have sat, and dreamed my dreams―

Built “castles in the air!”

In changing shade, and sunny gleams.

I navigated fancy’s streams,

Laid mammoth plans, and dizzy schemes,

And wrote my essays there!


I even loved the solitude

Of winter’s leafless wood!

When on the frozen earth were strewed,

The leaves which frost and wind subdued;

And when the trees with branches nude,

Like ghostly specters stood!


Beneath those trees, I sit no more!

Life’s brightness faded fast!

The dreams I used to dream of yore,

The shrines I worshipped at before,

The hopes I cherished o’er and o’er,

They’ve vanished with the past!


How seldom do we “count the cost”,

When on our youth’s blissful shore!

‘Tis only when from thence we’ve crossed

Into the zone of age, and frost,

We realize how much we’ve lost

That can return no more!


Grand Haven, Mich.

August 20th, 1898




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