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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1814
AUTHOR: Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–94)
QUOTATION: There is no time like the old time, when you and I were young,
When the buds of April blossomed, and the birds of spring-time sung!
The garden’s brightest glories by summer suns are nursed,
But oh, the sweet, sweet violets, the flowers that opened first!

There is no place like the old place, where you and I were born,
Where we lifted first our eyelids on the splendors of the morn
From the milk-white breast that warmed us, from the clinging arms that bore,
Where the dear eyes glistened o’er us that will look on us no more!

There is no friend like the old friend, who has shared our morning days,
No greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise:
Fame is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold;
But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.

There is no love like the old love, that we courted in our pride;
Though our leaves are falling, falling, and we’re fading side by side,
There are blossoms all around us with the colors of our dawn,
And we live in borrowed sunshine when the day-star is withdrawn.

There are no times like the old times,—they shall never be forgot!
There is no place like the old place,—keep green the dear old spot!
There are no friends like our old friends,—may Heaven prolong their lives!
There are no loves like our old loves,—God bless our loving wives!
ATTRIBUTION: OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, “No Time Like the Old Time,” The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, p. 222 (1895, reprinted 1975).