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Poem by Arthur Hugh Clough

Thoughts of Home

I watched them from the window, thy children at their play,
And I thought of all my own dear friends, who were far, oh, far away,
And childish loves, and childish cares, and a childs own buoyant gladness
Came gushing back again to me with a soft and solemn sadness;
And feelings frozen up full long, and thoughts of long ago,
Seemed to be thawing at my heart with a warm and sudden flow.

I looked upon thy children, and I thought of all and each,
Of my brother and my sister, and our rambles on the beach,
Of my mothers gentle voice, and my mothers beckoning hand,
And all the tales she used to tell of the far, far English land;
And the happy, happy evening hours, when I sat on my fathers knee,
Oh! many a wave is rolling now betwixt that seat and me!

And many a day has passed away since, I left them oer the sea,
And I have lived a life since then of boyhoods thoughtless glee;
Yet of the blessed times gone by not seldom would I dream,
And childhoods joy, like faint far stars, in memorys heaven would gleam,
And oer the sea to those I loved my thoughts would often roam,
But never knew I until now the blessings of a home!

I used to think when I was there that my own true home was here,
But home is not in land or sky, but in those whom each holds dear.
The evenings cooling breeze is fanning my temples now,
But then my frame was languid, and heated was my brow,
And I longed for Englands cool, and for Englands breezes then,
But now I would give full many a breeze to be back in the heat again.

But when cold strange looks without, and proud high thoughts within,
Are weaving round my heart the woof of selfishness and sin;
When self begins to roll a far, a worse and wider sea
Of careless and unloving thoughts between those friends and me,
I will think upon these moments, and call to mind the day
When I watched them from the window, thy children at their play.

Arthur Hugh Clough

Arthur Hugh Clough's other poems:
  1. Currente Calamo
  2. In Stratis Viarum
  3. Revival
  4. The Shady Lane
  5. Sic Itur

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