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The merry Homes of England !
Around their hearths by night, What gladsome looks of household love
Meet, in the ruddy light! There woman's voice flows forth in song,
Or childhood's tale is told,
Or lips move tunefully along
Some glorious page of old.
The blessed Homes of England !
How softly on their bowers Is laid the holy quietness
That breathes from Sabbath-hours ! Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bell's chime
Floats thro' their woods at morn ; All other sounds, in that still time,
Of breeze and leaf are born.
The Cottage Homes of England !
By thousands on her plains,
And round the hamlet-fanes.
Thro' glowing orchards forth they peep,
Each from its nook of leaves,
And fearless there the lowly sleep,
As the bird beneath their eaves.
The free, fair Homes of England !
Long, long, in hut and hall,
To guard each hallow'd wall !
for ever be the groves, And bright the flowery sod, Where first the child's glad spirit loves
Its country and its God !*
* Originally published in Blackwood's Magazine.
THE SICILIAN CAPTIVE.
I have dreamt thou wert
L. E. L.
The champions had come from their fields of war,
They sat at their feast round the Norse-king's board, By the glare of the torch-light the mead was pour'd, The hearth was heap'd with the pine-boughs high, And it flung red radiance on shields thrown by.
The Scalds had chaunted in Runic rhyme,
But the swell was gone from the quivering string,
Lonely she stood :-in her mournful eyes
Stately she stood-tho' her fragile frame
And a deep flush pass'd, like a crimson haze, O'er her marble cheek by the pine-fire's blaze ; No soft hue caught from the south-wind's breath,
But a token of fever, at strife with death.
She had been torn from her home away,
With her long locks crown'd for her bridal day,
They bade her sing of her distant land--
And the stream of her voice into music broke.
Faint was the strain, in its first wild flow,