Home Songs

A poem by John Charles McNeill

The little loves and sorrows are my song:
The leafy lanes and birthsteads of my sires,
Where memory broods by winter's evening fires
O'er oft-told joys, and ghosts of ancient wrong;
The little cares and carols that belong
To home-hearts, and old rustic lutes and lyres,
And spreading acres, where calm-eyed desires
Wake with the dawn, unfevered, fair, and strong.

If words of mine might lull the bairn to sleep,
And tell the meaning in a mother's eyes;
Might counsel love, and teach their eyes to weep
Who, o'er their dead, question unanswering skies,
More worth than legions in the dust of strife,
Time, looking back at last, should count my life.

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