"Childhood and youth are vanity."
Often o'er life's pathway straying
Come sweet strains of long ago,
To the chords of memory playing
Music sweet and music low.
When upon the gray rock musing
'Neath the tree by childhood's home,
In the wild bird's note so soothing
Tenderly these strains will come.
Gazing on the deep fringed mountain,
Distance robing it in blue,
Quaffing the familiar fountain,
Each repeats the story too.
Wandering by the streamlet flowing
Where we played in hours of glee,
Hear its murmurs coming, going,
Tell of joys that used to be.
Wandering in the leafy wildwood
Sometimes in our leisure hours,
In the sunny days of childhood
How much fairer seemed its flowers!
Watching from the hill the sunset
'Neath the spreading chestnut tree,
Youthful dreams and visions come yet
Through the years so magically.
Yet how vain these memories olden
If they do not teach the truth
That within the city golden
Only, dwells perpetual youth.