You are here: > > > Longing for Home
Words by Jean Ingelow.
Published by Novello & Co., 1904.
||Jean Ingelow was a popular Victorian poet. She was born on March 17 1820 in Boston, Lincolnshire, where her father was a banker. She described her childhood as "bright and joyous," and her many brothers and sisters as "'droll, full of mirth and clever."
Her first work was published when she was thirty. In l863 she published her first volume of "Poems," which ran through several editions and established her popularity.
She made her home in London after becoming a recognized authoress. Being a very charitable lady, for several years she gave dinners three times a week to twelve needy persons who had recently been released from the hospital.
Her last years were passed in Kensington, where she died on July 20, 1897.
I shaded mine eyes one day when a boat
Went curtseying over the billow;
Lightly she rocked to her port remote,
Her mast like a wand of willow.
Long I looked out for the lad she bore,
On the open desolate sea,
But I think she sailed to the heav'nly shore,
For he came not back to me:
He came not back to me!
I had a fair nestful once of my own,
Ah happy, happy I!
Right dearly I loved them: but when they were grown
They spread out their wings to fly-
One after one they flew away
Far up to the heav'nly blue
To the better country, the upper day,
And I wish I were going too:
I wish I were going too.
I pray you, what is the nest to me,
My empty, empty nest?
And what is the shore where I stood to see
My boat sail down to the west?
Can I call that home where I anchor yet,
Though my good man has sailed?
Can I call that home where my nest was set,
Now all its hope hath failed?
Nay, but the port where my sailor went,
And the land where my nestlings be:
There, there is the home where my thoughts are sent,
The only home for me,
The only home for me!
Page Created 21 May 2004