To My Grandchildren, Written on my 70th Birthday
When you, as I, have reached three score and ten,
And, reflecting, think of life and lives and then
Look inward on your soul’s topography
I will wonder then what places you can see,
And if some of them are places where I’ve been.
Do you see Indiana? Does the Council Oak still grow
Along the river where it grew four hundred years ago?
Can you see the Sangamon and is Lincoln there?
Do you see Saratoga? And does Green River flow
Through a verdant valley in the Berkshires of your soul?
And Shiloh! Can you see Shiloh?
Are these places that you know?