My Homes

Home ! I have changed thee often: on the brink
Of Arrowe early I began to think,
Where the dark alders, closing overhead,
Across the meadow but one shadow shed.
Lantony then received me for a while
And saw me musing in the ruin'd aile:
Then loitered I in Paris; then in Tours,
Where Ronsard sang erewhile his loose amours,
And where the loftier Beranger retires
To sing what Freedom, and what Mirth, inspires.
From France to Italy my steps I bent
And pitcht at Arno's side my household tent.
Six years the Medicaean palace held
My wandering Lares; then they went afield,
Where the hewn rocks of Fiesole impend
O'er Doccia's dell, and fig and olive blend.
There the twin streams in Affrico unite,
One dimly seen, the other out of sight,
But ever playing in his smoothen'd bed
Of polisht stone, and willing to be led
Where clustering vines protect him from the sun,
Never too grave to smile, too tired to run.
Here, by the lake, Boccaccio's Fair Brigade
Beguiled the hours and tale for tale repaid.
How happy! O how happy! had I been
With friends and children in this quiet scene!
Its quiet was not destined to be mine;
'Twas hard to keep, 'twas harder to resign.
Now seek I (now Life says, My gates I close )
A solitary and a late repose.
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