It was gay in the spring-time of the year

  It was fair at autumn’s close;

We heard the earliest cuckoo there,

  And we saw the latest rose.

The heart-ease and forget-me-not,

  They were natives of that ground;

Our garden was the sunniest spot

  In all the country round.


There was many a quaint and bowery nook.

  Where we sat in summer’s heat,

And listened to the silvery brook,

  That murmured at our feet.

There were herbs of old belief and  fame,

  There were hives of busy bees,

And a swell of leafy sounds, that came

  When the wind was in the trees.


We had little gardens every one,

  Myself and my brothers two,

And my sister, who is dead and gone;

 But the best of all it grew.

I cannot tell if the primrose time

  Comes now, as we knew it then;

But still in  the April nights I dream

  We are there at work again.


The merry swing and the mossy well

  Were hard by my mother’s bower,

Where the morning rose and the evening fell

  Through a screen of leaf and flower.

And pleasant was old Robin’s pride

  In the seasons he had known,

And the long long years that by his side

  The silent flowers had grown.


He said the hawthorn hedge had put

  Forth near a hundred Mays,

And boughs from the holly he had cut

  For fifty Christmas days;

That the cedar stood as large and tall

  At the time when he was young,

And ever since in the ivy wall

  Had his namesake built and sung.


The turf above old Robin’s breast

  Is lying green and cold;

The home and the garden we loved best

  To a stranger’s hand are sold.

He has planted hops where the roses grew,

  He has hewn the cedar down;

And we look out all summer through

  On the streets of this great town.