and Summer, Fall and Winter and Spring
each other drifting, past my window drifting!
I lay so many years watching them drift and counting
years till a terror came in my heart at times,
the feeling that I had become eternal; at last
hundredth year was reached! And still I lay
the tick of the clock, and the low of cattle
the scream of a jay flying through falling leaves!
after day alone in a room of the house
a daughter-in-law stricken with age and gray.
by night, or looking out of the window by day
thought ran back, it seemed, through infinite time
North Carolina and all my girlhood days,
John, my John, away to the war with the British,
all the children, the deaths, and all the sorrows.
that stretch of years like a prairie in Illinois
which great figures passed like hurrying horsemen,
Jefferson, Jackson, Webster, Clay.
beautiful young republic for whom my John and I
all of our strength and love!
O my John!
when I lay so helpless in bed for years,
for you to come, was your coming delayed?
that with a cry of rapture, like that I uttered
you found me in old Virginia after the war,
cried when I beheld you there by the bed,
the sun stood low in the west growing smaller and
the light of your face!