I dream of the days of my childhood,
And shake my silvery head.
How haunt ye my brain, O visions,
Methought ye forgotten and dead!
From the shades of the forest uprises
A castle so lofty and great;
Well know I the battlements, towers,
The arching stone-bridge, and the gate.
The lions look down from the scutcheon
On me with familiar face;
I greet the old friends of my boyhood,
And speed through the courtyard space.
There lies the Sphinx by the fountain;
The fig-tree's foliage gleams;
'Twas there, behind yon windows,
I dreamt the first of my dreams.
I tread the aisle of the chapel,
And search for my fathers' graves--
Behold them! And there from the pillars
Hang down the old armor and glaives.
Not yet can I read the inscription;
A veil hath enveloped my sight,
What though through the painted windows
Glows brightly the sunbeam's light.
Thus gleams, O hall of my fathers,
Thy image so bright in my mind,
From the earth now vanished, the ploughshare
Leaves of thee no vestige behind.
Be fruitful, lov'd soil, I will bless thee,
While anguish o'er-cloudeth my brow;
Threefold will I bless him, whoever
May guide o'er thy bosom the plough.
But I will up, up, and be doing;
My lyre I'll take in my hand;
O'er the wide, wide earth will I wander,
And sing from land to land.