THROUGH the smoke clouds that I blow
I can see the Long Ago
And the merry lanes of boyhood
That I gayly used to tread;
See the crows upon the wing,
Hear the thrushes sweetly sing,
And once more I ‘m stretched out dreaming
With the green grass for a bed.
As I slowly puff away,
I ‘m a boy once more at play,
I am angling for the catfish
Or I ‘m swimming with my chums;
Now I chaw green apples, too,
Underneath God’s stretch of blue,
With not a thought of trouble
Or the pain that after comes.
As the blue smoke slowly curls,
Once again I see the girls
In their little gingham dresses
And their faces berry-brown;
Then one little maid I see
Who was all in all to me
In the days before I journeyed
From the old home to the town.
Now she comes into the room
Where I ‘m dreaming in the gloom,
And she says the air is frightful,
And she starts to gasp and choke;
But, of course, she doesn’t know
How the days of Long Ago
Come back to me each evening
In my after-dinner smoke.