Achsa White Sprague

Nov. 17, 1827 - Jul. 6, 1862


The Wanderer's Return

by Achsa White Sprague

To the wanderer give one welcome
Back, back to his-sunny home;
For far away 'mong strangers,
Long, long has been his roam.

He has missed the pleasant fireside,
The happy household band,
And now he comes once more beneath
His father's roof to stand.

He comes, his heart grown weary
With wand'ring far away,
With trials that beset him
Upon his toilsome way.
HIe comes once more to visit
His early boyhood's home,
And once again to listen
To soft affection's tone.

But where are they -- the loved ones,
For which his spirit craves?
Oh, some are scattered far away,
And some sleep in their graves.
No mother's voice shall greet him,
No sister's tender tone,
The green grass waves above them,
And he is all alone.

He seeks his home in childhood,
Which once was full of glee,
Where he had knelt in guileless prayer,
Low at his mother's knee.
But gloomy and deserted
Are those decaying walls,
And silent are its places, --
Alas! the lonely halls.

The silent room he enters,
But all is sadly lone;
No face familiar greets him,
No joyous, ringing tone.
The echo of his footsteps
Alone the silence breaks,
Save when the sighing breezes
A mournful requiem makes.

His shadow on the hearthstone
Is all that's resting there, --
Ah, no! there's one still deeper,
'Tis gloomy, dark despair.
Gone is the sound of laughter,
Of happy, careless mirth,
He stands in silent anguish,
Upon the lonely hearth.

A withering blight comes o'er him,
He feels that he is now,
Upon the old ancestral tree
The last leaf on the bough.

Well might he say, heart-broken,
In sorrow's deepest tone,
The hearth, the hearth is desolate,
The bright fire quenched and gone.

An early poem, composed during sickness.


The Poet And Other Poems.
Copyright 1864
Boston: William White And Co.,
158 Washington Street.
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