I left my home for travelling; Because I heard the strange birds sing In foreign skies, and felt their wing Brush past my soul impatiently; I saw the bloom on flower and tree That only grows beyond the sea. Methought the distant voices spake More wisdom than near tongues can make; I followed—lest my heart should break. And what is past is past and done. I dreamt, and here the dream begun: I saw a salmon in the sun Leap from the river to the shore— Ah! strange mishap, so wounded sore, To his sweet stream to turn no more. A bird from ’neath his mother’s breast, Spread his weak wings in vain request; Never again to reach his nest. I saw a blossom bloom too soon Upon a summer’s afternoon; ’Twill breathe no more beneath the moon. I woke, warmed ’neath a foreign sky Where locust blossoms bud and die, Strange birds called to me flashing by. And dusky faces passed and woke The echoes with the words they spoke— —The same old tales as other folk. A truce to roaming! Never more I’ll leave the home I loved of yore. But strangers meet me at the door. I left my home still travelling, For yet I hear the strange birds sing, And foreign flowers rare perfumes bring. I hear a distant voice, more wise Than others are ’neath foreign skies. I’ll find—perhaps in paradise.