Over the hills, as the pewee flies,
Under the blue of the Southern skies;
Over the hills, where the red-bird wings
Like a scarlet blossom, or sits and sings:
Under the shadow of rock and tree,
Where the warm wind drones with the honey-bee;
And the tall wild-carrots around you sway
Their lace-like flowers of cloudy gray:
By the black-cohosh with its pearly plume
A-nod in the woodland's odorous gloom;
By the old rail-fence, in the elder's shade,
That the myriad hosts of the weeds invade:
Where the butterfly-weed, like a coal of fire,
Blurs orange-red through bush and brier;
Where the pennyroyal and mint smell sweet,
And blackberries tangle the summer heat,
The old road leads; then crosses the creek,
Where the minnow dartles, a silvery streak;
Where the cows wade deep through the blue-eyed grass,
And the flickering dragonflies gleaming pass.
That road is easy, however long,
Which wends with beauty as toil with song;
And the road we follow shall lead us straight
Past creek and wood to a farmhouse gate.
Past hill and hollow, whence scents are blown
Of dew-wet clover that scythes have mown;
To a house that stands with porches wide
And gray low roof on the green hill-side.
Colonial, stately; 'mid shade and shine
Of the locust-tree and the Southern pine;
With its orchard acres and meadowlands
Stretched out before it like welcoming hands.
And gardens, where, in the myrrh-sweet June,
Magnolias blossom with many a moon
Of fragrance; and, in the feldspar light
Of August, roses bloom red and white.
In a woodbine arbor, a perfumed place,
A slim girl sits with a happy face;
Her bonnet by her, a sunbeam lies
On her lovely hair, in her earnest eyes.
Her eyes, as blue as the distant deeps
Of the heavens above where the high hawk sleeps;
A book beside her, wherein she read
Till she saw him coming, she heard his tread.
Come home at last; come back from the war;
In his eyes a smile, on his brow a scar:
To the South come back who wakes from her dream
To the love and peace of a new regime.