One Autumn evening, wandering, when the sun was hanging low,
Through a woodland where the music of a streamlet's gentle flow
Commingled with the rustling of the yellow golden leaves,
And the idling breeze's sighing as it floated through the trees,
I heard sweet voices whispering in accents soft and low,
That lulled to rest the troubled soul, like those of long ago.
Enchanted thus I lingered, by unseen hands fast bound,
My willing fancy captive to the magic of sweet sound,
And eagerly I listened to the whispering voices tell
Of happy days of childhood, and the tear unbidden fell,
As were pictured to the mind again the halcyon scenes of yore,
And loved ones that no more I'll meet till on the silent shore!
And as the slanting shadows fell athwart the scattered leaves
The language that the voices spoke was formed of words like these:
"You may mingle with the sordid world, in eager, restless haste,
To struggle for the golden fruit that Mammon loves to taste,
But find at last, the end attained, that there are better things
To satisfy the longing heart--that sweeter solace brings.
"Thy Springtime, thy Summer, and thy Autumn's mellowed haze,
If rightly lived and rightly spent, will bring rare, happy days,
That temper with their sunshine the frigid Winter's wrath,
When gathering storms are darkling o'er life's declining path,
And lend a ray celestial that hoarded gold ne'er gave
To lighten all thy journey, from the cradle to the grave."