Sitting this Sunday afternoon I trace
Upon the sky serene a tranquil face,—
Such face a poet made a journeys end
To find the face become his dearest friend;
Beyond the sky and face—toward the west—
Stretches the prairies scarred and broken breast :—
Oh, prairie, sky and face—each one recalls
The childhood sketches hung in Memorys halls.

Dear early etchings—age forever fled—
When the wild prairie felt the wilder tread
Of Nature's nurslings—while the tender sod
Told the clear stars its messages to God;
When in the starry morning of the land
Two children strayed with Nature, hand in hand,—
Lived in her favor,—laughed in her delights,—
Stretching the summer evenings into nights,—
Life was so long in that dear, dawning haze
We reckoned not its Years, but only days.

Oh, days and years of prairie childhood, whence
Shall there return to me your recompense?
Oh, sky of childhood, bending o’er me low,
When shall I know again your early glow?
Oh, friend of childhood, shall the answer be
Your face before me through eternity?


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