When July's sun has spent her fierceness on
The sweltering earth; I love to ramble then
Along the narrow banks of dear Elm Creek
And be for one short hour a boy again.
To make the rocks skip o'er the waters smooth
And see the frogs plunge from the water's edge,
And hear the gentle cooing of the dove
Among the elms and from the distant hedge.
Oh, boyhood days ne'er come so near to me
As in these strolls in Summer eve's twilight;
I view again the scenes I love so well
And watch the gentle coming of the night.
(Madison, Wis.: American Thresherman. 1901)