Give me the patches on my pants, the freckles on my face--
The happy heart where cankering care had never found a place--
And let my bare feet walk again that dirt road down the hill
That led me to the river's brink, beyond the old Mock Mill!
Give me the youthful friends I knew, now scattered far and wide--
The loved ones who have passed beyond the bounds of time and tide--
And let me see the rose's hue that mantled every cheek
When we were run-aways from school, a-fishing in the creek.
Give me the stone-bruise on my heel, the hat without a crown--
The unkempt suit of yellow hair the sun had burnt to brown--
And let me go and soak myself, just where we used to walk,
In that old swimmin' pool we had, up on the Hanging Fork!
Give me the wealth I used to have--a wealth of vast content--
The pockets that were always full--but in them not a cent--
And let me hear the music sweet the wild birds used to sing
In woods and fields I wandered o'er, beyond the Old Cove Spring!
Give me--but what's the use of wishing for the days that won't return--
The vanished faces of the friends for whom we fondly yearn?
And what's the use of trying to look beyond the misty screen
Time's hand has hung between the eye and each familiar scene?