by Ethel Emily (Williams) Day ~ Group 3




While strolling thru’ the city streets

One cloudless summer day

A well-known perfume came to me,

The scent of new-mown hay.


In thought it carried me far back,

As tho’ it were a charm

Once more I was, as in past days,

Within my father’s farm.


Once more I saw the meadows stretch

Before me fair and green

While in well-ordered rows across,

The coils of hay were seen.


Once more I stood upon a load,

And drove the bay and gray

From coil to coil, as oft I had

Thru’ many a by-gone day.


Once more the sun blazed fierce and hot

Upon my aching head,

Again before my dizzy eyes,

Danced flecks of bright blood-red.


Once more the sweat burst on my skin

Right from my head to feet.

It tickled where it didn’t smart

The spots of prickly heat.


Again my arms were tired out

My back was stiff and sore

My head reeled as in days gone by

My legs ached as of yore.


The dream was over, and I stood

Beneath an awning’s shade

Within the town, and knew that back

In thought alone, I’d strayed.


I passed inside my office cool,

And in my chair sank down,

While murmuring with a grateful sigh

“Thank goodness I’m in town.”




When the year was just beginning

It was hung upon the wall,

In the spot where it was nearest

When we wished on it to call.


Of to future dates referring

Have we turned its pages o’er

Counting days and weeks before us,

But we’ll do it now no more.


One by one the leaves were scattered

As the month had rolled away.

On the last page now we’re looking

And ‘twill serve but one more day.


Oh the hours that it has numbered 

What a world of smiles and tears

Have they held, what fruitless fancies,

What unnumbered hopes and fears.


But they’re gone, they’re all lived over.

Have they brought more joy than grief?

So we question, while we’re looking

On the calendar’s last leaf.

Ethel Emily (Williams) Day was one of five sisters born in Puslinch Township, near Aberfoyle, Ontario.  All of her sisters moved out west.  Estella Marjorie (Day) Caughey was named after her maternal Aunt Stella.




Have you felt the charm of our fair North-west,

A charm all must obey?

Those prairies grand, from every land

They call the best away.


For all who go to our wide North-west

They can return, no never,

And those it calls, they must away

Tho’ fondest ties they sever.


First Evie went, our darling girl

The pride of all our home

So loving she, who could believe 

So far away she’d roam.


And back she casts her longing eyes,

But firmly it has bound her.

She vainly longs to see her home,

Its magic is around her.


And the Lenore, our baby-girl,

She left her home and school,

And far away she builds her life

Beneath the prairie’s rule.


She says that she’ll return again

But that we can’t believe

We know she’s ‘neath the prairie’s charm

And sadly our hearts grieve.


Our Amy was the next to come

Beneath the North-west’s sway

She left her home and loved ones dear

And far she went away.


In vain her friends wait her return

Her home she will see never.

“Just one year more” she little thinks

She’ll put it off forever.


Will darling Stella be the next

Those prairies grand will call?

Of if she too is drawn away

We wish ‘twould take us all.


Then listen for the call of our fair North-west

A call all must obey.

Those prairies grand, from every land

They draw the best away.





When twilight shadows creep across the distant hill,

And hide the landscape from your watching eyes,

When tired day forgets its worn-out joys and ills

And folds its weary hands, and smiles, and dies,


When night so sweet and still bends o’re the sleeping earth.

And in the heavens the silent stars you see,

When gone are all the sounds of this life’s grief or mirth,

Oh, then, heart of my heart, then think of me.

Return to top

Return to Poetry Index