Behind my father's cottage lies
A gentle grassy height
Up which I often ran--to gaze
Back with a wondering sight,
For then the chimneys I thought high
Were down below me quite!
All round, where'er I turned mine eyes,
Huge hills closed up the view;
The town 'mid their converging roots
Was clasped by rivers two;
From, one range to another sprang
The sky's great vault of blue.
It was a joy to climb their sides,
And in the heather lie!
A joy to look at vantage down
On the castle grim and high!
Blue streams below, white clouds above,
In silent earth and sky!
And now, where'er my feet may roam,
At sight of stranger hill
A new sense of the old delight
Springs in my bosom still,
And longings for the high unknown
Their ancient channels fill.
For I am always climbing hills,
From the known to the unknown--
Surely, at last, on some high peak,
To find my Father's throne,
Though hitherto I have only found
His footsteps in the stone!
And in my wanderings I did meet
Another searching too:
The dawning hope, the shared quest
Our thoughts together drew;
Fearless she laid her band in mine
Because her heart was true.
She was not born among the hills,
Yet on each mountain face
A something known her inward eye
By inborn light can trace;
For up the hills must homeward be,
Though no one knows the place.
Clasp my hand close, my child, in thine--
A long way we have come!
Clasp my hand closer yet, my child,
Farther we yet must roam--
Climbing and climbing till we reach
Our heavenly father's home.