O sweet are the memories when backward we gaze
Through the vista of years to our schoolboy days,
When faces now vanished to the vision appear
And the music of voices long hushed we can hear,
As together we romped where the school-house stood,
Or joyfully wended our way through the wood
Where placidly lay, in the valley beyond,
The moss-covered waters of Tom Barbee's pond!
Though scattered by Time o'er the face of the earth,
And sorrow and anguish have succeeded to mirth,
Still many there be whose mist-bedewed eye
Looks longingly back, while the breast heaves a sigh,
To that far-away time, when together we played
In the school-house yard, or on Saturdays strayed
Where the knots in our sleeves were tied tight as a bond,
As we splashed and we dived in Tom Barbee's pond!
The "pleasures of memory" by Rogers were lined,
With rhythm as sweet as in verse you will find,
But could he e'er picture one-half of the joys
We had when we wandered as barefooted boys
Through the woods and the fields and the meadows out there,
With our sun-blistered backs and the burrs in our hair,
Or recall to the mind a remembrance more fond
Than bathing and swimming in Tom Barbee's pond?