O the hills of old Lincoln!--I can see them to-day
As they stretch in dim distance far, far away,
And on Fancy's swift pinions my spirit hath flown
To rest 'mid the scenes which my childhood has known--
Where the old Hanging Fork, with its silvery gleam,
Glides away 'tween the meadows like thoughts in a dream,
And far to the south, with their outlines so blue,
The rugged knobs blend into heaven's own hue!
O the hills of old Lincoln!--how fondly I gaze
On their wildwoods and thickets and deep-tangled ways
When memory's mirror presents them to view,
And I dream once again that I tread them anew,
While raptured I listen to the music of love
That the song-birds are singing in the tree-tops above,
And the soul drifts away in a swoon of delight,
Unanchored from care and from sorrow's cold blight!
O the hills of old Lincoln!--my footsteps have trod
Up and down their green valleys, with shotgun and rod,
And it seems to me now that the years that have fled
Around their old summits a halo have shed
That guides the fond fancy unerringly there
When backward it wanders with childhood to share
Sweet scenes such as these, inurned in the heart,
And which from fond memory can never depart!