By Kate Slaughter McKinney
I am thinking of a cottage
Where the roses used to bloom,
How they talked beside the pavement
In low whispers of perfume,
Or climbed up beside the window
To look in my little room.
I am thinking of the door-way
Where the vine I used to train,
That snowed down its flaky petals
With a pleasant summer rain;
Where I used to sit and listen
To the old mill’s low refrain.
I’m thinking of the sunflower, too,
That towered above the gate;
Of the friends who called me hither
When the day was cool and late.
Ah! those hours seem so distant
And the year, an ancient date.
I am thinking of the grape-vine
Where the crippled robin fed,
How he lingered there each morning
’Till fresh crumbs for him were spread.
Is he feeding there this summer
From a stranger’s hand, instead?
I am thinking of the children
Who crept to the little yard,
Begging me to grant permission
That they play upon the sward.
Could I bar them from the entry?
Thus might Heaven me discard.
I am thinking of a morning
That wrung from my heart a sigh,
When I kissed warm lips that trembled,
With a tear-drop in my eye;
While I closed our cottage windows
And pronounced the word—good-bye.