Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WIDEST HEARTHSTONE, by BERTON BRALEY



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THE WIDEST HEARTHSTONE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Home is where the heart is, and my heart is on the sea
Last Line: Home is where the heart is and my heart is on the sea!
Subject(s): Sea; Ocean


Home is where the heart is, and my heart is on the sea.
Ashore I feel a wanderer wherever I may be,
But on a ship bound any place from Capetown north to Nome
I feel a sense of coziness that tells me I'm at home.

It isn't that I love the sea, although I guess I do,
But rather that a sailor's life is what I'm fitted to.
I'm habited to deep-sea ways, to salt upon my lips,
To tarry ropes and galley grub and sailor men and ships.

Though by and large the landsmen seem a pretty decent lot,
The things they care the most about are things that I do not,
And as for Women—bad or good—perhaps the landsmen know
But always they're a puzzle and I'll always find them so.

I never knew my mother, she was gone before I'd grown
So the sea's the only mother that I happen to have known.
She's not been very tender and she's not been very kind
But she's made the only home for me that ever I could find.

So storm and fog and sleet and ice and being calmed or wrecked
I take as family troubles that a sailor must expect,
And, like a decent family man, I very seldom grouse
About domestic worries that occur around the house.

At times the thought of settling down has flittered through my dome,
But when I pick a place ashore I cannot feel at home.
The sea's a kind of habit that has got ahold of me;
Home is where the heart is and my heart is on the sea!





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