Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, lived as a boy in Kentucky from 1809-1816. I visited his Kentucky home one year ago today. Here is a poem Lincoln wrote about his childhood home.
My Childhood's Home
by Abraham Lincoln
My childhood home I see again,
And sadden with the view;
And still, as memory crowds my brain,
There's pleasure in it too.
O Memory! thou midway world
'Twixt earth and paradise,
Where things decayed and loved ones lost
In dreamy shadows rise,
And, freed from all that's earthly vile,
Seem hallowed, pure, and bright,
Like scenes in some enchanted isle
All bathed in liquid light.
As dusky mountains please the eye
When twilight chases day;
As bugle-notes that, passing by,
In distance die away;
As leaving some grand waterfall,
We, lingering, list its roar-
So memory will hallow all
We've known, but know no more.
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 the 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 nought 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.
From The Poems of Abraham Lincon, Applewood Books, 1991