Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
Berkhamstead
Berkhamstead
William Cowper (1731–1800)
 
(From On the Receipt of My Mother’s Picture)

WHERE once we dwelt our name is heard no more,
Children not thine have trod my nursery floor;
And where the gardener Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bawble coach, and wrapt        5
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet capt,
’T is now become a history little known,
That once we called the pastoral house our own.
Short-lived possession! but the record fair
That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,        10
Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced
A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou might’st know me safe and warmly laid;
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,        15
The biscuit, or confectionery plum;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed:
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,        20
Ne’er roughened by those cataracts and breaks
That humor interposed too often makes;
All this still legible in memory’s page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay        25
Such honors to thee as my numbers may;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorned in Heaven, though little noticed here.
 
 
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