Home Thoughts from the City


The church bells have been pealing and are hushed:

Their call to worship fell like fragrant dew

Upon rich meadow pastures, breathing low

A vesper to the first star in sky flushed

With lovely rose above the sunset glow.

Alone and beautiful in heaven’s blue.


My eyes are closed to the material scene

And notice not the drabness all around:

They do not see the smoke and horrid glare

But lead me gently into fields of green,

Where scents of many flowers fill the air,

And short green grasses clothe my native ground.


My ears are deaf to all the growling hum

Of packed humanity: they only catch

The bleating of the sheep on mountain side;

Receive no message from the squalid slum.

But hear the shingle roar, the sloughing tide.

A  mother softly singing ‘neath the thatch.


My body, heavy clay that cannot move

Away from sordid neighbourhoods, remains

Amid this welter, racked by city noise;

My spirit, airy, free, doth outward rove

With eagles flight to seek an exile’s joys,

And wander over my beloved plains.



Weekly Times 3.3.61