Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BOYS, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

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THE BOYS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Where are they? - the friends
Last Line: Of faces asleep where the bumblebees drone!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Children; Friendship; Time; Youth; Childhood

WHERE are they? -- the friends of my childhood enchanted --
The clear, laughing eyes looking back in my own,
And the warm, chubby fingers my palms have so wanted,
As when we raced over Pink pastures of clover,
And mocked the quail's whir and the bumblebee's drone?
Have the breezes of time blown their blossomy faces
Forever adrift down the years that are flown?
Am I never to see them romp back to their places,
Where over the meadow, In sunshine and shadow,
The meadow-larks trill, and the bumblebees drone?

Where are they? Ah! dim in the dust lies the clover;
The whippoorwill's call has a sorrowful tone,
And the dove's -- I have wept at it over and over; --
I want the glad luster Of youth, and the cluster
Of faces asleep where the bumblebees drone!

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