They come, as the breeze comes over the foam,
Waking the waves that are sinking to sleep --
The fairest of memories from far-away home,
The dim dreams of faces beyond the dark deep.
They come as the stars come out in the sky,
That shimmer wherever the shadows may sweep,
And their steps are as soft as the sound of a sigh
And I welcome them all while I wearily weep.
They come as a song comes out of the past
A loved mother murmured in days that are dead,
Whose tones spirit-thrilling live on to the last,
When the gloom of the heart wraps its gray o'er the head.
They come like the ghosts from the grass shrouded graves,
And they follow our footsteps on life's winding way;
And they murmur around us as murmur the waves
That sigh on the shore at the dying of day.
They come, sad as tears to the eyes that are bright;
They come, sweet as smiles to the lips that are pale;
They come, dim as dreams in the depths of the night;
They come, fair as flowers to the summerless vale.
There is not a heart that is not haunted so,
Though far we may stray from the scenes of the past,
Its memories will follow wherever we go,
And the days that were first sway the days that are last.