Oh, the golden age of the barefoot time,
While life was a fairy tale sung in rhyme,
When phantoms grim of a future day
Were hid in the mists of the far away;
When we carved for ourselves from our June daydreams
(Only yesterday now it seems),
Statues of greatness, Jim and I,
In the mystical realm of the By-and-By!
Off for a swim on an afternoon,—
The moments—why would they fly so soon!
At the gate stood mother, who never was strong:
“I shall worry, boys, if you stay too long.”
Gone are the days of the long ago,—
O lagging Time, now you move so slow!
The rosy skies of our barefoot days
Lie hidden from view by a misty haze.
Jim he got tired and slipped away,—
Left me alone to swim and play;
The statues of greatness—in vain we planned,—
Never appeared from the sculptor’s hand!
And there came a day, I its reckoning keep,
When mother, worn out, just dropped asleep,—
Her voice melting into an angel’s song:
“I shall wait at the Gate, so don’t stay too long.”
from The Barefoot Time
by Adelbert Farrington Caldwell