A Forest Homestead.

by Hamilton Aide

Do you mind the cottage-homestead
Fringing our New Forest’s edge,
Where we linger’d one June evening,—
Taking it for pledge

Of the healthful lives within it,
Fed by Labour, crown’d by Peace?
At the open gate we enter’d,
Past the flock of geese :

In the front, a strip of garden,
Stain’d by sunset, and an oak ;
From the single chimney rose there
One pale wreath of smoke.

Father, resting from his labour,
Mother, at the open door,
Little heads upon their pillows,
Little shoes on floor ;

Pitcher for the last time carried,
Plates wash’d up, and supper clear’d ;
Woodman’s axe and spade, like old friends,
In the corner near’d ;

Everything at rest, and quiet,
Save the cuckoo-clock that ticks;
Father’s puffing pipe; the terrier,
And the cat, at tricks;—

’Tis a very humble homestead,
There are twenty thousand seen
Like it through our happy England,
– Nothing strange, I ween.

’Tis a very humble homestead.
In what golden palace-state,
Can God’s creatures find contentment
Greater, if as great ?

Published in 1865

Hamilton Aide lived in Lyndhurst. You can read more about him here:


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