The Return

By George Sterling

The wholesome flowers of autumn blow
    And squirrels chatter as in joy,
    In woods I rambled when a boy,
Careless, and many years ago.

Old scents and sounds .... I find no change,
    Revisiting, a wanderer;
    The trees and roads are as they were,
Untouched, and I alone am strange—

Strange even to myself! And they,
    The lads who roamed the wood with me,
    Are changed from what they used to be,
And some are gone, and all are grey.

And now awhile I watch the bird
    That haunts the hollow past the hill,
    And dream I hear the echo still
Of voices I have never heard.

I well recall the path and pond—
    I who have journeyed since so far,
    Nor found by light of sun or star
That Land forevermore beyond.

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