In the years ago when you were bright and new
Now has lost its splendid shine,
And your driver’s bending spine
Shows that he’s been getting old along with you.
You are slipping fast, I see;
So indeed, old bus, is he;
But you rattle and you bang along the street,
And I wonder as you go
What of joy or what of woe
You’ll discover when the limited you meet.
Who is coming home once more
To his father’s welcome door?
Is it failure or success that he will bring?
Is a daughter slipping back
From the city’s cruel track
For the lullaby that mother used to sing?
Is she happy? Is she sad?
For I know, old bus, you’ve had
Both your passengers a thousand times or more;
And old driver, you can’t hide
Just how many times you’ve sighed
As you’ve opened or have shut that shaky door.
You have seen them go away,
Full of strength and hope and gay,
You have seen them start as children fine — and then —
When the limited you’ve met,
Both your kindly eyes were wet
As you saw them back as women and as men.
You have read the tale of life,
Read the heartache and the strife,
Read the sorrows that we’d better not discuss,
Read the joy of splendid things
And the pain that failure brings,
As you’ve carried all that’s human in your bus.
So I wonder as you go
What you’ll find of joy or woe
When the limited pulls in on time today;
What of conquest or defeat
Will it be your lot to meet
And to welcome in your gentle, kindly way.
Both your shaky bus and you
With life’s toil are nearly through,
Soon your soul upon a journey far will roam;
And I like to think you’ll ask
God to let it be your task
To welcome all the children coming home.

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