No more the morning whistle sounds
It’s cheery reville.
No more the empty homes echo
With shouts of children’s glee.
The streets are silent now where once
Industry’s traffic hummed.
The hills and vales bear evidence
Of time’s eternal change.
All things, no matter what they be
Mature and then decline,
From rose-bud brief or tulip bell
To stately, massive pine.
Through cycles, everything must pass,
All nature proves this true.
‘Tis born, it grows, then fades away,
And disappears from view.
A ripple forms upon the sea
And grows into a wave.
It strikes the strand, and then rolls back
Into its restless grave.
So all things thru these cycles pass;
Even nations rise and wane;
And silence here but shows our town
Is going as it came.
Oh! Manning! You were once to me
A strange exotic place.
Through many lonely days I saw
Not one familiar face.
The setting sun was in the East
And all the world turned ‘round.
A man more lonesome than myself
Could nowhere have been found.
But for the chains which “circumstance”
Had forged and bound me there,
I would have drifted like the sand
Before the desert air.
Then time grew kind and brought a change
And soon my yearnings ceased.
My restless heart became at last,
Contented and appeased.
And many years I rested here
And nourished at your breast.
Now you’re so silent and so still
My spirit is depressed.
I’d love to see the steam shoot high
And smoke pour from the stacks,
And hear the long-trains go and come
Upon the railroad tracks.
And swarms of laborers hurrying home,
When each day’s work was done,
Like ants disturbed within their nests
That here and thither run.
There’s many things I’d like again
To see, and hear, and do.
If time would only backward turn
And perished things renew.
Although I bid the past farewell,
And to the future look.
I’ll keep a host of retrospects
Within my memory book.
And Manning, tho’ you’re on the wane,
Your end is drawing nigh.
Sweet memories keep you in my heart,
Where you will never die.