Verses Written by Lincoln After a Visit to His Old Home in Indiana-(A Fragment).

[In December, 1847, when Lincoln was stumping for Clay, he crossed into Indiana and revisited his old home. He writes: "That part of the country is within itself as unpoetical as any spot on earth; but still seeing it and its objects and inhabitants aroused feelings in me which were certainly poetry; though whether my expression of these feelings is poetry, is quite another question."]

   Near twenty years have passed away
   Since here I bid farewell
   To woods and fields, and scenes of play,
   And playmates loved so well.
   Where many were, but few remain
   Of old familiar things;
   But seeing them to mind again
   The lost and absent brings.
   The friends I left that parting day,
   How changed, as time has sped!
   Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray,
   And half of all are dead.
   I hear the loved survivors tell
   How naught from death could save,
   Till every sound appears a knell,
   And every spot a grave.
   I range the fields with pensive tread,
   And pace the hollow rooms,
   And feel (companion of the dead)
   I 'm living in the tombs.
   And when at length the drear and long
   Time soothed thy fiercer woes,
   How plaintively thy mournful song
   Upon the still night rose
   I've heard it oft as if I dreamed,
   Far distant, sweet and lone;
   The funeral dirge it ever seemed
   Of reason dead and gone.
   Air held her breath; trees with the spell
   Seemed sorrowing angels round,
   Whose swelling tears in dewdrops fell
   Upon the listening ground.
   But this is past, and naught remains
   That raised thee o'er the brute;
   Thy piercing shrieks and soothing strains
   Are like, forever mute.
   Now fare thee well! More thou the cause
   Than subject now of woe.
   All mental pangs by time's kind laws
   Hast lost the power to know.
   O Death! thou awe-inspiring prince
   That keepst the world in fear,
   Why dost thou tear more blest ones hence,
   And leave him lingering here?