The Light of Home
by Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879)
My son, thou wilt dream the world is fair,
And thy spirit will sigh to roam,
And thou must go; but never, when there,
Forget the light of Home!
Though pleasures may smile with a ray more bright,
It dazzles to lead astray;
Like the meteor’s flash, ’twill deepen the night
When treading thy lonely way:—
But the heart of home has a constant flame,
And purse as vestal fire—
’Twill burn, ’twill burn for ever the same,
For nature feeds the pyre.
The sea of ambition is tempest-tossed,
And thy hopes may vanish like foam—
When sails are shivered and compass lost,
Then look to the light of Home!
And there, like a star through midnight cloud,
Thou’lt see the beacon bright;
For never, till shining on thy shroud,
Can be quenched its holy light.
The sun of fame may gild the name,
But the heart ne’er felt its ray;
And fashion’s smiles, that rich ones claim,
Are beams of a wintry day:
How cold and dim those beams would be,
Should Life’s poor wanderer come!—
My son, when the world is dark to thee,
Then turn to the light of Home.