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THE HOMES OF ENGLAND.
Where's the coward that would not dare
The stately Homes of England,
How beautiful they stand !
O'er all the pleasant land.
Through shade and sunny gleam,
Of some rejoicing stream.
The merry Homes of England !
Around their hearths by night,
Meet, in the ruddy light !
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 through 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.
Through glowing orchards forth they peep,
Each from its nook of leaves, And fearless there the lowly sleep,
As the bird beneath their eaves.
The free, fair Homes of England !
Long, long, in hut and hall,
To guard each hallow'd wall !
And bright the flowery sod,
Its country and its God ! *
* Originally published in Blackwood's Magazine.