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Howard Austin


At times when I am in the mood
To sort o' reminisce;
My thoughts go back to my yesterdays,
Their sorrows or their bliss.
I span the years to childhood,
Through more than three-score years;
And I am just a boy again,
Without grave doubts and fears.


Those days, I longed for manhood's state
When I'd be big and strong;
I'd conquer ev'ry obstacle,
And in my heart a song.
I'd climb the heights with valor true,
I'd help the erring, weak:
And in my heart I fondly b'lieved
I'd find what e'er I'd seek.


I'd right the wrongs, I'd feed the poor,
I'd evil put to route;
I'd help the poor unfortunates,
All prejudice shut out.
I'd fix my gaze upon a star,
A life of service planned;
Each falt'ring one with fervent hope
Take firmly by the hand.


But somehow as the years rolled on
And boyhood left behind;
Along the way I'd lost the mark,
And nowhere I could find
The spark that lit those boyhood hours
And plainly marked the way,
And filled my soul with confidence
And turned night into day.


And now, I'm nearing sixty-eight;
With wistful, yearning heart
Recheck a host of "Might Have Beens",
And memory imparts
No answer, dim, not understood,
But knowing it is there;
Yet, all too little I can see,
As on a winding stair.


Could I be granted one fond wish
To cheer my jaded soul;
To overcome each circumstance
That hides the visioned goal;
Then I would say, Give back to me
That priceless, bubbling joy;
That thrilling, pulsing, constant faith,
The glad heart of a boy.




HBA- 5/30/54