The dead sun sinks beyond the misty hills;
The chill winds whistle in the leafless elms;
The cold rain patters on the fallen leaves.
Where pipes the silver-fluted whippowil?
I hear no hum of bees among the bloom;
I hear no robin cherup on the hedge:
One dumb, lone lark sits shivering in the rain.
I hear the voices of the Autumn wind;
I hear the cold rain dripping on the leaves;
I hear the moaning of the mournful pines;
I hear the hollow voices of the dead.
O let me dream the dreams of long ago
And dreaming pass into the dreamless sleep—
Beyond the voices of the autumn winds,
Beyond the patter of the dreary rain,
Beyond compassion and all vain regret
Beyond all waking and all weariness:
O let me dream the dreams of long ago.
When Mollie and I were married from the dear old cottage-home,
In the vale between the hills of fir and pine,
I parted with a sigh in a stranger-land to roam,
And to seek a western home for me and mine.
By a grove-encircled lake in the wild and prairied
As the sun was sinking down one summer day,
I laid my knapsack down and my weary limbs to rest,
And resolved to build a cottage-home and stay.
I staked and marked my “corners,” and
I “filed” upon my claim,
And I built a cottage-home of “logs and shakes;”
And then I wrote a letter, and Mollie and baby came
Out to bless me and to bake my johnny-cakes.
When Mollie saw my “cottage” and the way
that I had “bached”,
She smiled, but I could see that she was “blue;”
Then she found my “Sunday-clothes” all soiled and torn and patched,
And she hid her face and shed a tear or two.
But she went to work in earnest and the cabin fairly
And her dinners were so savory and so nice
That I felt it was “not good that the man should be alone”—
Even in this lovely land of Paradise.
Well, the neighbors they were few and were many miles
And you couldn’t hear the locomotive scream;
But I was young and hardy, and my Mollie gave me heart,
And my “steers” they made a fast and fancy team.
And the way I broke the sod was a marvel, you can
For I fed my “steers” before the dawn of day;
And when the sun went under I was plowing prairie yet,
Till my Mollie blew the old tin horn for tea.
And the lazy, lousy “Injuns” came a-loafing
round the lake,
And a-begging for a bone or bit of bread;
And the sneaking thieves would steal whatever they could take—
From the very house where they were kindly fed.
O the eastern preachers preach, and the long-haired
Of the “noble braves” and “dusky maidens fair;”
But if they had pioneered ’twould have been another thing
When the “Injuns” got a-hankering for their “hair.”