Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OLD HOMESTEAD, by ALICE CARY



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THE OLD HOMESTEAD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When skies are growing warm and bright
Last Line: Where I dreamed my dream of dreams!
Subject(s): Home


WHEN skies are growing warm and bright,
And in the woodland bowers
The Spring-time in her pale, faint robes
Is calling up the flowers,
When all with naked little feet
The children in the morn
Go forth, and in the furrows drop
The seeds of yellow corn;
What a beautiful embodiment
Of ease devoid of pride
Is the good old-fashioned homestead,
With its doors set open wide!

But when the happiest time is come,
That to the year belongs,
When all the vales are filled with gold
And all the air with songs;
When fields of yet unripened grain,
And yet ungarnered stores
Remind the thrifty husbandman
Of ampler threshing-floors,
How pleasant, from the din and dust
Of the thoroughfare aloof,
Stands the old-fashioned homestead,
With steep and mossy roof!

When home the woodsman plods with axe
Upon his shoulder swung,
And in the knotted apple-tree
Are scythe and sickle hung;
When low about her clay-built nest
The mother swallow trills,
And decorously slow, the cows
Are wending down the hills;
What a blessed picture of comfort
In the evening shadows red,
Is the good old-fashioned homestead,
With its bounteous table spread!

And when the winds moan wildly,
When the woods are bare and brown,
And when the swallow's clay-built nest
From the rafter crumbles down;
When all the untrod garden-paths
Are heaped with frozen leaves,
And icicles, like silver spikes,
Are set along the eaves;
Then when the book from the shelf is brought,
And the fire-lights shine and play,
In the good old-fashioned homestead,
Is the farmer's holiday!

But whether the brooks be fringed with flowers,
Or whether the dead leaves fall,
And whether the air be full of songs,
Or never a song at all,
And whether the vines of the straw-berries
Or frosts through the grasses run,
And whether it rain or whether it shine
Is all to me as one,
For bright as brightest sunshine
The light of memory streams
Round the old-fashioned homestead,
Where I dreamed my dream of dreams!





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