A heritage of hopes and fears
And dreams and memory,
And vices of ten thousand years
God gives to thee.

A house of clay, the home of Fate,
Haunted of Love and Sin,
Where Death stands knocking at the gate
To let him in.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Silent Is The House

Come, the wind may never again
Blow as now it blows for us;
And the stars may never again shine as now they shine;
Long before October returns,
Seas of blood will have parted us;
And you must crush the love in your heart, and I the love in mine!

by Emily Jane Brontë.

The Spry Arms Of The Wind

The spry Arms of the Wind
If I could crawl between
I have an errand imminent
To an adjoining Zone -

I should not care to stop
My Process is not long
The Wind could wait without the Gate
Or stroll the Town among.

To ascertain the House
And is the soul at Home
And hold the Wick of mine to it
To light, and then return -

by Emily Dickinson.

To Quilca, A Country-House In No Very Good Repair

Let me thy Properties explain,
A rotten Cabin, dropping Rain;
Chimnies with Scorn rejecting Smoak;
Stools, Tables, Chairs, and Bed-steds broke:
Here Elements have lost their Vses,
Air ripens not, nor Earth produces:
In vain we make poor Sheelah toil,
Fire will not roast, nor Water boil.
Thro' all the Vallies, Hills, and Plains,
The Goddess Want in Triumph reigns;
And her chief Officers of State,
Sloth, Dirt, and Theft around her wait.

by Jonathan Swift.

On An Ill-Managed House

LET me thy properties explain:
A rotten cabin dropping rain:
Chimneys, with scorn rejecting smoke;
Stools, tables, chairs, and bedsteads broke.
Here elements have lost their uses,
Air ripens not, nor earth produces:
In vain we make poor Sheelah toil,
Fire will not roast, nor water boil.
Through all the valleys, hills, and plains,
The Goddess Want, in triumph reigns:
And her chief officers of state,
Sloth, Dirt, and Theft, around her wait.

by Jonathan Swift.

MILES and miles of quiet houses, every house a harbour,
Each for some unquiet soul a haven and a home,
Pleasant fires for winter nights, for sun the trellised arbour,
Earth the solid underfoot, and heaven for a dome.

Washed by storms of cleansing rain, and sweetened with affliction,
The hidden wells of Love are heard in one low-murmuring voice
That rises from this close-meshed life so like a benediction
That, listening to it, in my heart I almost dare rejoice.

by Enid Derham.

Far From My Heavenly Home

Far from my heavenly home,
Far from my Father’s breast,
Fainting I cry, blest Spirit, come
And speed me to my rest.

My spirit homeward turns
And fain would thither flee;
My heart, O Zion, droops and yearns,
When I remember thee.

To thee, to thee I press,
A dark and toilsome road;
When shall I pass the wilderness,
And reach the saint’s abode?

God of my life, be near;
On Thee my hopes I cast:
O guide me through the desert here,
And bring me home at last.

by Henry Francis Lyte.

"Where shall we dwell?" say you.
   Wandering winds reply:
"In a temple with roof of blue
   -- Under the splendid sky."

Never a nobler home
   We'll find though an age we try
Than is arched by the azure dome
   Of the all-enfolding sky.

Here we are wed, and here
   We live under God's own eye.
"Where shall we dwell," my dear?
   Under the splendid sky.

by John Le Gay Brereton.

The Modern Cherub

'Give me a dad who knows his place
And never gives me cheek,
And a mother mild who treats her child
In a docile way, and meek.
Give me a house where a little lad
Is recognised as head,
And home-life's not too beastly bad,'
The little darling said.

'Give me the right to rule to roost
And I'll stay in at night,
And seldom go to the picture show
Or patronise the fight.
But I'll treat complaints with a lordly sniff
If they humbly mention bed.
Precocious parents bore me stiff,'
The sweet young cherub said.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

A Day At Tivoli - Epilogue

Farewell, Romantic Tivoli!
With all thy pleasant out-door time;
For now, again, we cross the sea,
To house us in our northern clime.

Since Love and Duty both advise
No longer, even here, to roam;
Nor all too slackly hold the ties,
That cluster round the heart of home.
And bid us find old feelings there;
And our own native pleasures woo;
Nor muse, as now, (how sweet soe'er
The musing be)—but plan—and do.

And yet, in many an interval,
How oft, Beloved Tivoli!
Shall Fancy hear thy waters fall;
And Memory come—to dream with Thee.

by John Kenyon.

I Am Driven Everywhere From A Clinging Home

I am driven everywhere from a clinging home,
O autumn eves! and I ween'd that you would yet
have made, when your smouldering dwindled to odorous fume,
close room for my heart, where I might crouch and dream
of days and ways I had trod, and look with regret
on the darkening homes of men and the window-gleam,
and forget the morrows that threat and the unknown way.
But a bitter wind came out of the yellow-pale west
and my heart is shaken and fill'd with its triumphing cry:
You shall find neither home nor rest; for ever you roam
with stars as they drift and wilful fates of the sky!

by Christopher John Brennan.

House Or Window Flies

These little window dwellers, in cottages and halls, were always
entertaining to me; after dancing in the window all day from sunrise
to sunset they would sip of the tea, drink of the beer, and eat of the
sugar, and be welcome all summer long. They look like things of mind
or fairies, and seem pleased or dull as the weather permits. In many
clean cottages and genteel houses, they are allowed every liberty to
creep, fly, or do as they like; and seldom or ever do wrong. In fact
they are the small or dwarfish portion of our own family, and so many
fairy familiars that we know and treat as one of ourselves.

by John Clare.

Robin sang a song for me
Once upon a day,
Never throat of Robin piped
Bonnier roundelay!

Robin built a home for him
In the apple-boughs;
There with wife and family
Kept he merry house.

But my Robin, overseas,
Where is song of his?
When that golden rapture breaks
The long silences?

O my lonely walls, no more
Glorious with sound!
Broken roof and rafter, mine,
Prone upon the ground!

What to me the nested tree,
Linnet, lark and wren?
Song that with my Robin dies
Never wakes again!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

The Dwelling-Place

John 1:38-39

What happy secret fountain,
Fair shade or mountain,
Whose undiscovered virgin glory
Boasts it this day, though not in story,
Was then thy dwelling? Did some cloud,
Fixed to a tent, descend a shroud
My distressed Lord? Or did a star,
Beckoned by Thee, though high and far,
In sparkling smiles haste gladly down
To lodge light and increase her own?
My dear, dear God! I do not know
What lodged Thee then, nor where, nor how;
But I am sure Thou dost now come
Oft to a narrow, homely room,
Where Thou too hast but the least part:
My God, I mean my sinful heart.

by Henry Vaughan.

A Song Of Harvest Home

Praise God for blessings great and small,
For garden bloom and orchard store,
The crimson vine upon the wall,
The green and gold of maples tall,
For harvest-field and threshing-floor!

Praise God for children's laughter shrill,
For clinging hands and tender eyes,
For looks that lift and words that thrill,
For friends that love through good and ill,
For home, and all home's tender ties!

Praise God for losses and for gain,
For tears to shed, and songs to sing,
For gleams of gold and mists of rain,
For the year's full joy, the year's deep pain,
The grieving and the comforting!

by Jean Blewett.

Gleaners Of Fame

Hearken not, friend, for the resounding din
That did the Poet's verses once acclaim:
We are but gleaners in the field of fame,
Whence the main harvest hath been gathered in.
The sheaves of glory you are fain to win,
Long since were stored round many a household name,
The reapers of the Past, who timely came,
And brought to end what none can now begin.
Yet, in the stubbles of renown, 'tis right
To stoop and gather the remaining ears,
And carry homeward in the waning light
What hath been left us by our happier peers;
So that, befall what may, we be not quite
Famished of honour in the far-off years.

by Alfred Austin.

The Mermaidens' Vesper-Hymn

Troop home to silents grots and caves!
Troop home! And mimic as you go
The mournful winding of the waves
Which to their dark abysses flow!

At this sweet hour, all things beside
In amourous pairs to covert creep;
The swans that brush the evening tide
Homeward and snowy couples keep;

In his green den the murmuring seal
Close by his sleek companion lies;
While singly we to bedward steal,
And close in fruitless sleep our eyes.

In bowers of love men take their rest,
In loveless bowers we sigh alone!
With busom-friends are others blessed, -
But we have none! But we have none!

by George Darley.

In the city set upon slime and loam
They cry in their parliament 'Who goes home?'
And there comes no answer in arch or dome,
For none in the city of graves goes home.
Yet these shall perish and understand,
For God has pity on this great land.

Men that are men again; who goes home?
Tocsin and trumpeter! Who goes home?
For there's blood on the field and blood on the foam
And blood on the body when Man goes home.
And a voice valedictory . . . Who is for Victory?
Who is for Liberty? Who goes home?

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

The Guest House

What imps are these that come with scowl and leer?
Black motes upon the morning's amber beam,
They crowd and float about each happy dream
And blow upon pure joy the taint of fear.
Perforce those muttered hideous words we hear,
Yet bid our nobler nature rise supreme
And, sunlike, dry to naught th' infernal steam
Till all our day is luminous and clear.
“What cruel beasts find refuge in the soul
Amid the murky deep of sightless flame
Whose waves are flatten'd by a rain of blood!”
Nay, but however pure the waters roll,
The offal thrown therein will rise and shame
Their glittering pride with bubbles from the mud.

by John Le Gay Brereton.

An Angel In The House

How sweet it were, if without feeble fright,
Or dying of the dreadful beauteous sight,
An angel came to us, and we could bear
To see him issue from the silent air
At evening in our room, and bend on ours
His divine eyes, and bring us from his bowers
News of dear friends, and children who have never
Been dead indeed,--as we shall know forever.
Alas! we think not what we daily see
About our hearths,--angels that are to be,
Or may be if they will, and we prepare
Their souls and ours to meet in happy air;--
A child, a friend, a wife whose soft heart sings
In unison with ours, breeding its future wings.

by James Henry Leigh Hunt.

He waits all day beside his little flock
And asks the passing stranger what's o'clock,
But those who often pass his daily tasks
Look at their watch and tell before he asks.
He mutters stories to himself and lies
Where the thick hedge the warmest house supplies,
And when he hears the hunters far and wide
He climbs the highest tree to see them ride--
He climbs till all the fields are blea and bare
And makes the old crow's nest an easy chair.
And soon his sheep are got in other grounds--
He hastens down and fears his master come,
He stops the gap and keeps them all in bounds
And tends them closely till it's time for home.

by John Clare.

Sonnet Xlix. J.R.L. (On His Homeward Voyage) 1.

BACK from old England, in whose courts he stood
Foremost to knit by act and word the band
Between the daughter and the mother-land
In all by either prized of truth and good,
We welcome to a fellowship renewed
His country's friend and ours. The master-hand
That held the pen and lyre could still command
Affairs of state, controlling league and feud.
So, helped, not hindered, may his later strains
Flow deeper, richer, though by sorrow toned;
And life by losses grow as once by gains;
And age hold fast the best that youth has owned.
But ah, hurt not with touch too heavy, Time,
The light-winged wisdom of his gayer rhyme.

by Christopher Pearse Cranch.

Here Is The Place Where Loveliness Keeps House

Here is the place where Loveliness keeps house,
Between the river and the wooded hills,
Within a valley where the Springtime spills
Her firstling wind-flowers under blossoming boughs:
Where Summer sits braiding her warm, white brows
With bramble-roses; and where Autumn fills
Her lap with asters; and old Winter frills
With crimson haw and hip his snowy blouse.
Here you may meet with Beauty. Here she sits
Gazing upon the moon, or all the day
Tuning a wood-thrush flute, remote, unseen;
Or when the storm is out, 'tis she who flits
From rock to rock, a form of flying spray,
Shouting, beneath the leaves' tumultuous green.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Men deemed thee fallen, did they? fallen like Rome,
Coiled into self to foil a Vandal throng:
Not wholly shorn of strength, but vainly strong;
Weaned from thy fame by a too happy home,
Scanning the ridges of thy teeming loam,
Counting thy flocks, humming thy harvest song,
Callous, because thyself secure, 'gainst wrong,
Behind the impassable fences of the foam!
The dupes! Thou dost but stand erect, and lo!
The nations cluster round; and while the horde
Of wolfish backs slouch homeward to their snow,
Thou, 'mid thy sheaves in peaceful seasons stored,
Towerest supreme, victor without a blow,
Smilingly leaning on thy undrawn sword!

by Alfred Austin.

Black grows the southern sky, betokening rain,
And humming hive-bees homeward hurry bye:
They feel the change; so let us shun the grain,
And take the broad road while our feet are dry.
Ay, there some dropples moistened on my face,
And pattered on my hat--tis coming nigh!
Let's look about, and find a sheltering place.
The little things around, like you and I,
Are hurrying through the grass to shun the shower.
Here stoops an ash-tree--hark! the wind gets high,
But never mind; this ivy, for an hour,
Rain as it may, will keep us dryly here:
That little wren knows well his sheltering bower,
Nor leaves his dry house though we come so near.

by John Clare.

Sonnet L. J.R.L. (On His Homeward Voyage) 2.

O SHIP that bears him to his native shore,
Beneath whose keel the seething ocean heaves,
Bring safe our poet with his garnered sheaves
Of Life's ripe autumn poesy and lore!
Though round the old homestead where we met of yore
In the unsaddened days the southwind grieves
Through his green elms, and all their summer leaves
Seem whispering of the scenes that come no more,
Yet may the years that brought him honors due
Where Europe's best and wisest learned his worth,
Yield hope and strength to reach horizons new
In the broad Western land that gave him birth;
Nor bar his vision to a sunlit view
Beyond the enshrouding mysteries of earth.

by Christopher Pearse Cranch.

Children devoted to God. [For those who practise infant Baptism.]

Gen. 17:7,10; Acts 16:14,15,33.

Thus saith the mercy of the Lord,
"I'll be a God to thee;
I'll bless thy num'rous race, and they
Shall be a seed for me."

Abram believed the promised grace,
And gave his sons to God;
But water seals the blessing now,
That once was sealed with blood.

Thus Lydia sanctified her house,
When she received the word;
Thus the believing jailer gave
His household to the Lord.

Thus later saints, eternal King!
Thine ancient truth embrace;
To thee their infant offspring bring,
And humbly claim the grace.

by Isaac Watts.


Yet brood deep feelings in the youngling breast,
Though undeveloped, natural as speech;
And my own tropic isle this truth impressed,
That Nature teaches more than man may teach.
'Twas on an orange-tree, just within reach
Of childish hands, a bird had built her nest,
A mother-bird; and ne'er more impious breach
Than mine upon that blissful home of rest,
On sleeping town did night-sped warrior make;
And memory yet recals the mournful song
Which the reft parent, for her nestlings' sake,
Poured, round her ruined dwelling hovering long;
While every touch, that did her grief impart,
Dropt, like a precept, on my conscious heart.

by John Kenyon.

POET of the Pulpit, whose full-chorded lyre
Startles the churches from their slumbers late,
Discoursing music, mixed with lofty ire
At wrangling factions in the restless state,
Till tingles with thy note each listening ear,—
Then household charities by the friendly fire
Of home, soothe all to fellowship and good cheer!
No sin escapes thy fervent eloquence,
Yet, touching with compassion the true word,
Thou leavest the trembling culprit’s dark offence
To the mediation of his gracious Lord.
To noble thought and deep dost thou dispense
Due meed of praise, strict in thy just award.
Can other pulpits with this preacher cope?
I glory in thy genius, and take hope!

by Amos Bronson Alcott.

Margaret Fuller

THOU, Sibyl rapt! whose sympathetic soul
Infused the myst’ries thy tongue failed to tell;
Though from thy lips the marvellous accents fell,
And weird wise meanings o’er the senses stole,
Through those rare cadences, with winsome spell;
Yet even in such refrainings of thy voice
There struggled up a wailing undertone,
That spoke thee victim of the Sisters’ choice,—
Charming all others, dwelling still alone.
They left thee thus disconsolate to roam,
And scorned thy dear, devoted life to spare.
Around the storm-tost vessel sinking there
The wild waves chant thy dirge and welcome home;
Survives alone thy sex’s valiant plea,
And the great heart that loved the brave and free.

by Amos Bronson Alcott.

Family blessings.

O happy man, whose soul is filled
With zeal and reverent awe!
His lips to God their honors yield,
His life adorns the law.

A careful providence shall stand
And ever guard thy head,
Shall on the labors of thy hand
Its kindly blessings shed.

[Thy wife shall be a fruitful vine;
Thy children round thy board,
Each like a plant of honor shine,
And learn to fear the Lord.]

The Lord shall thy best hopes fulfil
For months and years to come;
The Lord, who dwells on Zion's hill,
Shall send thee blessings home.

This is the man whose happy eyes
Shall see his house increase;
Shall see the sinking church arise,
Then leave the world in peace.

by Isaac Watts.

Death and immediate glory.

2 Cor. 5:1,5-8.

There is a house not made with hands,
Eternal and on high;
And here my spirit waiting stands,
Till God shall bid it fly.

Shortly this prison of my clay
Must be dissolved and fall;
Then, O my soul! with joy obey
Thy heav'nly Father's call.

'Tis he, by his almighty grace,
That forms thee fit for heav'n;
And, as an earnest of the place,
Has his own Spirit giv'n.

We walk by faith of joys to come,
Faith lives upon his word;
But while the body is our home,
We're absent from the Lord.

'Tis pleasant to believe thy grace,
But we had rather see;
We would be absent from the flesh,
And present, Lord, with thee.

by Isaac Watts.

With Wild Flowers To A Sick Friend

Rise from the dells where ye first were born,
From the tangled beds of the weed and thorn,
Rise! for the dews of the morn are bright,
And haste away with your brows of light.--
--Should the green-house patricians with gathering frown,
On your plebian vestures look haughtily down,
Shrink not,--for His finger your heads hath bow'd,
Who heeds the lowly and humbles the proud.--
--The tardy spring, and the frosty sky,
Have meted your robes with a miser's eye,
And check'd the blush of your blossoms free,--
With a gentler friend your home shall be;
To a kinder ear you may tell your tale
Of the zephyr's kiss and the scented vale;--
Ye are charm'd! ye are charm'd! and your fragrant sigh
Is health to the bosom on which ye die.

by Lydia Huntley Sigourney.

How Old Is My Heart, How Old?

How old is my heart, how old, how old is my heart,
and did I ever go forth with song when the morn was new?
I seem to have trod on many ways: I seem to have left
I know not how many homes; and to leave each
was still to leave a portion of mine own heart,
of my old heart whose life I had spent to make that home
and all I had was regret, and a memory.

So I sit and muse in this wayside harbour and wait
till I hear the gathering cry of the ancient winds and again
I must up and out and leave the members of the hearth
to crumble silently into white ash and dust,
and see the road stretch bare and pale before me: again
my garment and my house shall be the enveloping winds
and my heart be fill'd wholly with their old pitiless cry.

by Christopher John Brennan.

When I some antique Jar behold,
Or white, or blue, or speck'd with gold,
Vessels so pure, and so refin'd
Appear the types of woman-kind:
Are they not valu'd for their beauty,
Too fair, too fine for household duty?
With flowers and gold and azure dy'd,
Of ev'ry house the grace and pride?
How white, how polish'd is their skin,
And valu'd most when only seen!
She who before was highest priz'd
Is for a crack or flaw despis'd;
I grant they're frail, yet they're so rare,
The treasure cannot cost too dear!
But Man is made of coarser stuff,
And serves convenience well enough;
He's a strong earthen vessel made,
For drudging, labour, toil and trade;
And when wives lose their other self,
With ease they bear the loss of Delf.

by John Gay.

Your Harps, Ye Trembling Saints

Your harps, ye trembling saints,
Down from the willows take;
Loud to the praise of love divine
Bid every string awake.

Though in a foreign land
We are not far from home,
And nearer to our house above
We every moment come.

His grace will to the end
Stronger and brighter shine;
Nor present things nor things to come
Shall quench the spark divine.

When we in darkness walk,
Nor feel the heavenly flame,
Then is the time to trust our God,
And rest upon His Name.

Soon shall our doubts and fears
Subside at His control;
His lovingkindness shall break through
The midnight of the soul.

Blest is the man, O Lord!
That stays himself on Thee;
Who wait for Thy salvation, Lord!
Shall thy salvation see.

by Augustus Montague Toplady.

To A Wind-Flower

TEACH me the secret of thy loveliness,
That, being made wise, I may aspire to be
As beautiful in thought, and so express
Immortal truths to earth’s mortality;
Though to my soul ability be less
Than ’t is to thee, O sweet anemone.

Teach me the secret of thy innocence,
That in simplicity I may grow wise,
Asking from Art no other recompense
Than the approval of her own just eyes;
So may I rise to some fair eminence,
Though less than thine, O cousin of the skies.

Teach me these things, through whose high knowledge, I,—
When Death hath poured oblivion through my veins,
And brought me home, as all are brought, to lie
In that vast house, common to serfs and Thanes,—
I shall not die, I shall not utterly die,
For beauty born of beauty—that remains.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The Hushed House

I, who went at nightfall, came again at dawn;
On Love's door again I knocked. Love was gone.

He who oft had bade me in, now would bid no more;
Silence sat within his house; barred its door.

When the slow door opened wide through it I could see
How the emptiness within stared at me.

Through the dreary chambers, long I sought and sighed,
But no answering footstep came; naught replied.

Then at last I entered, dim, a darkened room:
There a taper glimmered gray in the gloom.

And I saw one lying crowned with helichrys;
Never saw I face as fair as was his.

Like a wintry lily was his brow in hue;
And his cheeks were each a rose, wintry too.

Then my soul remembered all that made us part,
And what I had laughed at once broke my heart.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The House Of Life

They are the wise who look before,
Nor fear to look behind;
Who in the darkness still ignore
Pale shadows of the mind.

Who, having lost, though loss be much,
Still dare to dream and do:
For what was shattered at a touch
It may be mended, too.

The House of Life hath many a door
That leads to many a room;
And only they who look before
Shall win beyond its gloom.

Who stand and sigh and look behind,
Regretful of past years,
No room, of all those rooms, shall find
That is not filled with fears.

'T is better not to stop or stay;
But set all fear aside,
Fling wide the door, whate'er the way,
And enter at a stride.

Who dares, may win to his desire;
Or, failing, reach the tower,
Whereon Life lights the beacon-fire
Of one immortal hour.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Upon Over-Much Niceness

Tis much to see how over nice some are
About the body and household affair,
While what's of worth they slightly pass it by,
Not doing, or doing it slovenly.
Their house must be well furnished, be in print,
Meanwhile their soul lies ley, has no good in't.
Its outside also they must beautify,
When in it there's scarce common honesty.
Their bodies they must have tricked up and trim,
Their inside full of filth up to the brim.
Upon their clothes there must not be a spot,
But is their lives more than one common blot.
How nice, how coy are some about their diet,
That can their crying souls with hogs'-meat quiet.
All drest must to a hair be, else 'tis naught,
While of the living bread they have no thought.
Thus for their outside they are clean and nice,
While their poor inside stinks with sin and vice.

by John Bunyan.