The Homes Of England

By Felicia Dorothea Hemans

THE stately Homes of England,
   How beautiful they stand!
Amidst their tall ancestral trees,
   O’er all the pleasant land.
The deer across their greensward bound
   Thro’ shade and sunny gleam,
And the swan glides past them with the sound
   Of some rejoicing stream.

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,
They are smiling o’er the silvery brooks,
   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 the eaves.

The free, fair Homes of England!
   Long, long, in hut and hall,
May hearts of native proof be rear’d
   To guard each hallow’d wall!
And green for ever be the groves,
   And bright the flowery sod,
Where first the child’s glad spirit loves
   Its country and its God!