Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  St. Helen’s-Auckland

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

St. Helen’s-Auckland

St. Helen’s-Auckland

By Sir Henry Taylor (1800–1886)

I WANDER o’er each well-known field

My boyhood’s home in view,

And thoughts that were as fountains sealed

Are welling forth anew.

The ancient house, the aged trees,

They bring again to light

The years that like a summer’s breeze

Were trackless in their flight.

How much is changed of what I see,

How much more changed am I,

And yet how much is left,—to me

How is the distant nigh!

The walks are overgrown and wild,

The terrace flags are green,—

But I am once again a child,

I am what I have been.

The sounds that round about me rise

Are what none other hears;

I see what meets no other eyes,

Though mine are dim with tears,—

The breaking of the summer’s morn,

The tinge on house and tree,

The billowy clouds,—the beauty born

Of that celestial sea,

The freshness of the faëry land

Lit by the golden gleam,—

It is my youth that where I stand

Surrounds me like a dream.

Alas! the real never lent

Those tints, too bright to last;

They fade, and bid me rest content

And let the past be past.

The wave that dances to the breast

Of earth can ne’er be stayed;

The star that glitters in the crest

Of morning needs must fade.

But there shall flow another tide,

So let me hope, and far

Over the outstretched waters wide

Shall shine another star.

In every change of man’s estate

Are lights and guides allowed;

The fiery pillar will not wait,

But, parting, sends the cloud.

Nor mourn I the less manly part

Of life to leave behind;

My loss is but the lighter heart,

My gain the graver mind.