Away Down Home

A poem by John Charles McNeill

'T will not be long before they hear
The bullbat on the hill,
And in the valley through the dusk
The pastoral whippoorwill.
A few more friendly suns will call
The bluets through the loam
And star the lanes with buttercups
Away down home.

"Knee-deep!" from reedy places
Will sing the river frogs.
The terrapins will sun themselves
On all the jutting logs.
The angler's cautious oar will leave
A trail of drifting foam
Along the shady currents
Away down home.

The mocking-bird will feel again
The glory of his wings,
And wanton through the balmy air
And sunshine while he sings,
With a new cadence in his call,
The glint-wing'd crow will roam
From field to newly-furrowed field
Away down home.

When dogwood blossoms mingle
With the maple's modest red,
And sweet arbutus wakes at last
From out her winter's bed,
'T would not seem strange at all to meet
A dryad or a gnome,
Or Pan or Psyche in the woods
Away down home.

Then come with me, thou weary heart!
Forget thy brooding ills,
Since God has come to walk among
His valleys and his hills!
The mart will never miss thee,
Nor the scholar's dusty tome,
And the Mother waits to bless thee,
Away down home.

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