Edgar Albert Guest

20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England

Back Home

GLAD to be back home again,
Where abide the friendly men;
Glad to see the same old scenes
And the little house that means
All the joys the soul has treasured—
Glad to be where smiles aren't measured,
Where I've blended with the gladness
All the heart has known of sadness,
Where some long-familiar steeple
Marks my town of friendly people.

Though it's fun to go a-straying
Where the bands are nightly playing
And the throngs of men and women
Drain the cup of pleasure brimmin',
I am glad when it is over
That I've ceased to play the Rover.
And when once the train starts chugging
Towards the children I'll be hugging,
All my thoughts and dreams are set there;
Fast enough I cannot get there.

Guess I wasn't meant for bright lights,
For the blaze of red and white lights,
For the throngs that seem to smother
In their selfishness, each other;
For whenever I've been down there,
Tramped the noisy, blatant town there,
Always in a week I've started
Yearning, hungering, heavy-hearted,
For the home town and its spaces
Lit by fine and friendly faces.

Like to be where men about me
Do not look on me to doubt me;
Where I know the men and women,
Know why tears some eyes are dimmin',
Know the good folks an' the bad folks
An' the glad folks an' the sad folks;
Where we live with one another,
Meanin' something to each other.
An' I'm glad to see the steeple,
Where the crowds aren't merely people.
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