Where, where is the gate that once used to divide
The old shaded lane from the grassy road side,
I like not this gate, so gay and so bright,
With its glittering latch and its trellis of white;
It is pretty I own, yet oh dearer by far,
Was the red rested hinge, and the weather warp'd bar,
Here are fashion, and form of a modernized date,
But I'd rather have look'd on that old farm gate.
'Twas there where my sisters would gather to play,
In the shadows of twilight or sunny mid day;
How we'd laugh and run wild 'mid those hillocks of sand,
Where temptations existed no child could withstand,
But to swing on the gate rails, to clamber and ride.
Was the utmost of pleasure of glory and pride:
And the car of the victor or carriage of state
Never carried such hearts as that old farm gate.
Oh! Fair is the barrier taking its place.
But it darkens a picture my soul longed to trace.
I sigh to behold the rough staple and hasp,
And the rails that my growing hand scarcely could clasp.
Oh! How strangely the warm spirit grudges to part
With the commonest relic once linked to the heart;
And the brightest of fortune, the kindliest of fate,
Would not banish my love for the old farm gate.
Russell, Henry, "Old Farm Gate" (1841). Historic Sheet Music Collection. 301.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.