By William Henry Dawson

The house in which one lives is but a shell
Of stone, and wood, and clay with paint spread o’er,
And when sweet stories about home we tell,
We mean not just the house alone, but more.
When one has kissed his loved ones a good-bye,
And for a fortnight travels to and fro,
Returns unto his home the latch to try,
And finds the pesky little thing won’t go,
And takes his night key and unlocks the door,
And finds the house as quiet as a mouse—
His wife and babies, just the day before
Had gone—it is not home. It’s just a house.
It’s then one comes to really understand
The meaning, in its truest sense, of home.
It’s then that all the houses in the land,
Builded earth wide and high as heaven’s dome,
With floors of gold, and walls of jassamine,
And ceilings all bedecked with jewels rare,
Mantels of pearl, and bric-a-brac thrown in,
Would not be home, with wife and babes not there.

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