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.