African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Robert Hamilton, "Home" (1902)

How charm'd is the car by this one, simple word!
It quickens the pulse, though so often tis heard,
   When fortune compels us to roam ;
The buds of true promise will blossom anew ,
Becoming more fragrant with memory's dew,
   When hearing the lov'd name of home.

Our childhood's fond joys, with our kindred around us,
The innocent sports of our hearts that e'er bound us
   To memories now ivied with years,
The smile of that mother , so lovingly tender,
Her musical voice we ever remember
   The memory we sprinkle with tears.

Ah! yeş, on the tide of the outflowing years
Drift pleasures of youth , which our fancy endears ,
   On swells of this life's ocean foam;
And thoughts ' heavy storms are no longer before us ,
For rainbows of love strew brilliantly o'er us ,
   Those visions , enchanting, of home.

And flowers may bloom in the land where we dwell ,
And, living forever, in fragrance excel
   All others that e'er meet the eye,
And music's fond echoes may soothe us to rest ,
When warbled from birds in their leaf -cover'd nests ,
   And well from the heart a deep sigh.

But mem'ry entwining the pleasures now past ,
Will cling to them fondly - grow green to the last
   I care not the distance we roam ;
And perfume of flowers and birds music gather'd
But speak of the joys from which we are sever'd ;
   The sigh --- to return to our home.

Published in Colored American Magazine, January-February 1902

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