Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Home: V. The Home
The Wanderer’s Home
Oliver Goldsmith (1730–1774)
 
From “The Traveller

REMOTE, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
Or by the lazy Scheldt, or wandering Po,
Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door,
Or where Campania’s plain forsaken lies,        5
A weary waste expanding to the skies:
Where’er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart untravelled fondly turns to thee;
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.        10
 
  Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend!
Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire
To pause from toil, and time their evening fire!
Blest that abode, where want and pain repair,        15
And every stranger finds a ready chair!
Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crowned,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laughs at the jests or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale;        20
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good!
*        *        *        *        *
  But where to find that happiest spot below,
Who can direct, when all pretend to know?
The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone        25
Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own;
Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,
And his long nights of revelry and ease:
The naked negro, panting at the line,
Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,        30
Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,
And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.
Such is the patriot’s boast, where’er we roam,
His first, best country, ever is at home.
And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,        35
And estimate the blessings which they share,
Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
An equal portion dealt to all mankind;
As different good, by art or nature given,
To different nations makes their blessing even.        40
 
 
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