Home no more home to me, whither must I wander?
Hunger my driver, I go where I must.
Cold blows the winter wind over hill and heather,
Thick drives the rain and my roof is in the dust.
Lov’d of wise men was the shade of my roof tree,
The true word of welcome was spoken in the door.
Dear days of old with the faces in the firelight,
Kind folks of old, you come again no more.
Home was home then, my dear, full of kindly faces,
Home was home then, my dear, happy for the child.
Fire and the windows bright glittered on the moorland,
Song, tuneful song, built a palace in the wild.
Now when day dawns on the brow of the moorland,
Lone stands the house and the chimney-stone is cold.
Lone let it stand now the friends are all departed,
The kind hearts, the true hearts, that loved the place of old.
Spring shall come, come again, calling up the moor fowl,
Spring shall bring the sun and rain, bring the bees and flowers,
Red shall the heather bloom over hill and valley,
Soft flow the stream through the even flowing hours.
Fair the day shine as it shone on my childhood,
Fair shine the day on the house with open door.
Birds come and cry there and twitter in the chimney,
But I go forever and come again no more.
From Songs of Travel— music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, words by Robert Louis Stevenson. I highly recommend listening to a recording of this song cycle– hauntingly beautiful music, perfect for the coming autumn, and for wistful wanderers.
We’ll be performing this on Sunday.