From The Birmingham Age Herald, September 5, 1914. By Madison Cawein.
Oh, I went down the old creek, the cold creek, the creek of other days,
And on the way I met a ghost, pale in the moonlight’s rays,
The ghost of one, a little boy, with whom my heart still plays.
He looked at me, he nodded me, he beckoned with his pole,
To follow where we oft had gone to that old fishing hole,
In checker of the shine and shade beneath the old beech pole.
The old hole, the dark hole, wherein we marked the gleam
Of minnows streaking, silvery rose, and in its deep a dream
Of something gone forever down the glimmer of the stream.
The old hole, the deep hole, o’er which we watched the flash
Of bronze and brass of dragonflies and listened for the splash
Of frogs that leaped from lilied banks when round them we would dash.
He stood beside me there again, with fishing pole and line,
And looked into my eyes and said, “The fishing will be fine!”
And bade me follow down the stream and placed his hand in mine.
But it was strange! I could not speak, however I might try,
While all my heart choked up with tears, and I could only sigh
And whisper to myself, “Ah, God, if I could only die!”
He laughed at me, he beckoned me, but I—I stood wide eyed;
A spell was on my soul, I knew, that kept me from his side,
A spell that held me back from him, my boyhood that had died.
’Twas there beside the old creek, the cold creek, the creek of long gone by,
I stood upon its banks awhile when stars were in the sky,
And oh, I met and talked with him, the child that once was I!