The Track That Leads Home by Marion Miller Knowles

Sometimes in my lonely hours, my tired feet tread it still—
The narrow winding track that leads across the stony hill,
The shining crystals of the quartz, I see their sparkle yet.
With the sunlight and the mountain streams I never can forget!

The lichen on the old gray rocks, the dewy moss beneath,
The ferns within the shaded clefts, the groundwort’s trailing wreath,
The jewelled scabbards of the grass, the cobwebs’ fairy lace
Throw still across the sordid years their soft, ideal grace!

And, evermore, the distant hills, whose ev’ry peak, I knew,
Stand out with snowy crown against the sky’s deep, tender blue;
The Goulburn winds about their feet with swift and silv’ry flow,
And beckons every wayward burn to sunnier vales below.

I used to chase the mountain wind with all a child’s conceit,
And fancy that it lagged behind the flying of my feet!
I used to answer back the birds’ sweet shower of melody,
And think that ev’ry nestling’s tweet was welcome blithe for me!

And when I reached the little gate that crowned the homeward track,
How often, in my love of all, I paused for one look back;
And waved my hand in brief farewell to river, tree, and bird—
The sweetest feelings in my heart by Nature’s beauty stirred.

They say that when our day is done, and Heaven’s Gate we near,
Our childhood’s, is the only path we see with vision clear:
To us who weary miles have strayed, and still in sadness roam,
May God with loving pity bless the track that leads us home!

From: Miller, Marion, “The Track That Leads Home” in The Australasian, Saturday, 2 Feb 1901, p. 52.
(https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/139170431)

Date: 1901

By: Marion Miller Knowles (1865-1949)

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