Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOME'S A NEST, by WILLIAM BARNES

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HOME'S A NEST, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Here under the porch's grey bow
Last Line: Not our own, but our father's good will.
Subject(s): Home

A Father (F.) and a Neighbor or Chorus of Neighbors (C.)

F. HERE under the porch's grey bow,
All my children have shot to and fro,
With a sleek little head.
C. Home's nest.

F. Here are windows where hills, in the blue
Of the sky, so long shone to their view,
And the sun's evening red -- darted in,
And the nooks where their toetips all sprang,
And the walls and the places that rang
With their high-screaming din.
C. Home's a nest;
O home is a nest of the spring,
Where children may grow to take wing.

F. As small-footed maidens here walk'd
By their mother, their little tongues talk'd
To her downlooking face.
C. Home's a nest.

F. And the boys trotted on at my side,
With the two-steps they put to one stride
Of my big-footed pace: -- and now each
Is withdrawn from our side and our hand,
And the oldest as far as the land
Of old England may reach.
C. Home's a nest;
A nest where the young folk are bred
Up, to take on the work of the dead.

F. And here, when the boys had begun
At their sisters with bantering fun,
How brisk was each tongue
C. Home's a nest.

F. Of the girls, who could very soon find
How to pay off their brothers in kind,
Whether older or young, -- and now each
Has his own day of life, and his door,
While his words and his doings no more
To the others may reach.
C. Home's a nest,
Where babes may grow women and men,
For the rearing of children again.

F. There straight-gaited John, that can show
How to handle a sword with a foe,
Is a comely young man;
C. Home's a nest.

F. And he swings a good blade by a hand
That has hit a few blows for his land.
And the merry-soul'd Ann; -- oh! a dear,
She is wedded, and taken to turn
Her own cheeses, and roll her own churn,
But a good way from here.
C. Home's a nest,
Where our children grow up to take on
Our own places, when we are all gone.

F. There is dapper young Joe, that has made
A good jobbing in cattle, his trade,
Is so skillful of mind,
C. Home's a nest,

F. That the while any bullock might blare,
He would know her all round, every hair;
And my Fanny, so kind -- and so mild,
That I often would hope she might stay
At my hearth, she is taken away,
Ay, my Fanny, dear child!
C. Home's a nest,
All forsaken, when children have flown,
Like a nest in bush-top alone.

F. There is Jim, that the neighbors all round
Made their pet, is now gone, and is bound
To a very good trade.
C. Home's a nest.

F. Though his head is as thoughtless, a lout,
As the ball he would hit so about,
In the games that they play'd, -- and he's near;
But my Willie is gone from my door,
And too far to come back any more,
Any more to come here.
C. Home's a nest,
Where our children are bred to fulfil
Not our own, but our Father's good will.

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