The Isle of Long Ago

by Benjamin Franklin Taylor

Oh, a wonderful stream is the River Time,
As it flows through the realm of Tears,
With a faultless rhythm and a musical rhyme,
And a broader sweep and a surge sublime
As it blends with the ocean of Years.

How the winters are drifting like flakes of snow!
And the summers like buds between;
And the year in the sheaf–so they come and they go
On the River’s breast with its ebb and flow,
As they glide in the shadow and sheen.

There’s a magical Isle up the River Time
Where the softest of airs are playing;
There’s a cloudless sky and a tropical clime,
And a voice as sweet as a vesper chime,
And the Junes with the roses are staying.

And the name of this Isle is the Long Ago,
And we bury our treasures there;
There are brows of beauty and bosoms of snow—
They are heaps of dust, but we loved them so!
There are trinkets and tresses of hair.

There are fragments of song that nobody sings,
And a part of an infant’s prayer,
There’s a harp unswept and a lute without strings,
There are broken vows and pieces of rings,
And the garments that she used to wear.

There are hands that are waved when the fairy shore
By the mirage is lifted in air;
And we sometimes hear through the turbulent roar
Sweet voices we heard in the days gone before,
When the wind down the River is fair.

Oh, remembered for aye be the blessed Isle
All the day of our life till night,
And when evening comes with its beautiful smile,
And our eyes are closing in slumber awhile,
May that “Greenwood” of soul be in sight.