It led adown the sloping hill, and through the valley wound,
And where the blooming clover shed its fragrance all around,
And then between the maple trees, across the little brook,
To where the old fence bars let down, a tortuous course it took;
And often are the times I've heard the merry, ringing laugh,
From rosy-ankled children there, along the meadow path.
Three boys--and a little girl whose hair was chestnut gold--
(She's resting now in dreamless sleep beneath the crumbling mold;)--
But I remember her as when, with innocence and glee,
Her laughing eyes looked into mine--for she was dear to me;
And thus it is I love to let the fancy photograph
The merry group that idled there, along the meadow path.
Adown it oft we used to go at twilight for the cows,
Or wander from the beaten track a rabbit to arouse,
And watch him as he scampered off, with frightened leap and bound,
The while we made the welkin ring and with our shouts resound.
The sweetest flowers that bloom for me--a fragrant aftermath--
Are those that in the memory blow, along the meadow path!