Page:Landon in Literary Gazette 1823.pdf/134

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Literary Gazette 22nd November 1823, Page 747-748

Fourth Series.


Mine home is but a blackened heap
    In the midst of a lonesome wild,
And the owl and the bat may their night-watch keep
    Where human faces smiled.

I rocked the cradle of seven fair sons,
    And I worked for their infancy;
But, when like a child in mine own old age,
    There are none to work for me!

Never! I will not know another home.
Ten summers have pass'd on, with their blue skies,
Green leaves, and singing birds, and sun-kiss'd fruit,
Since here I first took up my last abode,—
And here my bones shall rest. You say it is
A home for beasts, and not for humankind,
This bleak shed and bare rock, and that the vale
Below is beautiful. I know the time
When it looked very beautiful to me!
Do you see that bare spot, where one old oak
Stands black and leafless, as if scorched by fire,
While round it the ground seems as if a curse
Were laid upon the soil? Once by that tree,
Then covered with its leaves and acorn crop,
A little cottage stood: 't was very small,
But had an air of health and peace. The roof
Was every morning vocal with the song
Of the rejoicing swallows, whose warm nest
Was built in safety underneath the thatch;
A honeysuckle on the sunny side
Hung round the lattices its fragrant trumpets,
Around was a small garden; fruit and herbs
Were there in comely plenty; and some flowers,
Heath from the mountains, and the wilding bush
Gemm'd with red roses, and white apple blossoms,
Were food for the two hives, whence all day long
There came a music like the pleasant sound
Of lulling waters. And at even-tide
It was a goodly sight to see around
Bright eyes, and faces lighted up with health
And youth and happiness: these were my children,
That cottage was mine home. - - -

  1. This poem appears in The Improvisatrice and Other Poems