The Ash Grove
The ash grove, how graceful, how plainly tis speaking,
the harp wind through it playing has language for me.
Whenever the light through its branches is breaking
a host of kind faces is gazing on me.
The friends of my childhood again are before me,
each step wakes a memory as freely I roam.
With soft whispers laden its leaves rustle o'er me,
the ash grove, the ash grove again alone is my home.
Down yonder green valley where streamlets meander
when twilight is fading I pensively rove.
Or at the bright noontide in solitude wander
amid the dark shades of the lonely ash grove.
Twas there while the blackbird was cheerfully singing
I first met that dear one, the joy of my heart.
Around us for gladness the bluebells were springing
the ash grove, the ash grove that sheltered my home.
My laughter is over, my step loses lightness,
old countryside measures steal soft on my ears;
I only remember the past and its brightness,
the dear ones I mourn for again gather here.
From out of the shadows their loving looks greet me,
and wistfully searching the leafy green dome,
I find other faces fond bending to greet me,
the ash grove, the ash grove alone is my home.
from Sandra Stigen, 1984
but first learned in elementary school
(DT of April 1996)