Old homes among the hills! I love their gardens;
Their old rock fences, that our day inherits;
Their doors, round which the great trees stand like wardens;
Their paths, down which the shadows march like spirits;
Broad doors and paths that reach bird-haunted gardens.
I see them gray among their ancient acres,
Severe of front, their gables lichen-sprinkled, -
Like gentle-hearted, solitary Quakers,
Grave and religious, with kind faces wrinkled, -
Serene among their memory-hallowed acres.
Their gardens, banked with roses and with lilies -
Those sweet aristocrats of all the flowers -
Where Springtime mints her gold in daffodillies,
And Autumn coins her marigolds in showers,
And all the hours are toilless as the lilies.
I love their orchards where the gay woodpecker
Flits, flashing o'er you, like a wingéd jewel;
Their woods, whose floors of moss the squirrels checker
With half-hulled nuts; and where, in cool renewal,
The wild brooks laugh, and raps the red woodpecker.
Old homes! old hearts! Upon my soul forever
Their peace and gladness lie like tears and laughter;
Like love they touch me, through the years that sever,
With simple faith; like friendship, draw me after
The dreamy patience that is theirs forever.