The Days Of Old
by Achsa White Sprague
Oh, the days of Old, the bright days of Old!
I love the tales that about them are told:
I could sit for hours o'er the author's page,
Where are spread bright gems of the by-gone age; --
Of the time when the Normans crossed the main,
O'er the English Isles in their might to reign,
When the Saxons bold held the regal sway,
Till, pressed by hosts, they were forced to give way.
Again, of the knights in the days of old,
With their armor bright and their chargers bold,
Who fought for their homes on many a day,
Or tried their lance in the tourney gay;
Or when, with their zeal in the Holy War,
They went from their homes to a country far,
To fight for their faith and the Holy Land,
In a noble, brave, and warlike band.
How I love to read of bold Robin Hood,
Who dwelt in the shade of merry Sherwood,
With his outlaw band dressed in Lincoln Green,
With their arrows sharp and their hardy mien.
There they lay in wait as the traveller passed,
And summoned their train with the bugle's blast,
Or feasted and sung in their mirth and ease,
'Neath the green, hanging boughs of the forest trees.
And the tales of Greece, in its ancient times,
And the men that peopled its sunny climes
In its infant state, or its lofty height,
In its feeble strength, and its towering might.
There's many a deed of the Spartan told,
Of the fearless soldier and matron bold,
Ere the nation wasted its life in ease,
In the reign of luxurious Pericles.
There's many a hero whose cherished name
Shall be in all ages a wreath of fame;
There's many a poet whose song divine,
Shall be echoed fore'er from clime to clime,
That once lived in Greece in its palmy day,
When o'er arts and science it held the sway,
Ere the hand of Time had its ruin hurled
O'er the haughty pride of the Grecian world.
And Italy! over that sunny clime
Strong spells are cast by the olden time,
From Venetian isles to Rome's high towers,
Through her hills and vales, and her myrtle bowers.
And now, though her greatness has passed away,
And Rome, its proud mistress, in ruin lay,
The fame of her sons burns bright in song,
Their names are immortal in virtue or wrong.
And over all lands is a romance cast
By the deeds and words of times long past;
From the Nile's proud flood to old Scotia's height,
And our own broad Land has its deeds of might.
An early poem, composed during sickness.
Source:The Poet And Other Poems.
Boston: William White And Co.,
158 Washington Street.