Sunday, August 7, 2011

Long Ago

by Eugene Field (1850-1895)

I once knew all the birds that came
   And nested in our orchard trees,
For every flower I had a name-
   My friends were woodchucks, toads, and bees;
I knew where thrived in yonder glen
   What plants would soothe a stone-bruised toe-
Oh, I was very learned then,
   But that was very long ago.

I knew the spot upon the hill
   Where checkerberries could be found,
I knew the rushes near the mill
   Where pickerel lay that weighed a pound!
I knew the wood---the very tree
   Where lived the poaching, saucy crow,
And all the woods and crows knew me-
   But that was very long ago.

And pining for the joys of youth,
   I tread the old familiar spot
Only to learn this solemn truth:
   I have forgotten, am forgot.
Yet here's this youngster at my knee
   Knows all the things I used to know;
To think I once was wise as he!-
   But that was very long ago.

I know it 's folly to complain
   Of whatsoe'er the fates decree,
Yet, were not wishes all in vain,
   I tell you what my wish should be:
I'd wish to be a boy again,
   Back with the friends I used to know.
For I was, oh, so happy then-
   But that was very long ago!


Anonymous said...

Nice poem. Eugene Field was one of the best.

Anonymous said...

Very good poem. Makes you think about how short life is. S

Jan said...

pretty words. wish I could write something like that. Jan

Sandi said...


Anonymous said...

And Eugene Field lived but 45 short years. But that was long ago.

Peggy~ said...

He gave us a lot of beautiful writings in those few short years. We should all make such good use of the time we're given.