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What is House and what is Home,

Where with freedom thou hast room,

And may'st to all tyrants say,

This you cannot take away?

'Tis no thing with doors and walls,

Which at every earthquake falls;

No fair towers, whose princely fashion

Is but Plunder's invitation;

No stout marble structure, where

Walls Eternity do dare;

No brass gates, no bars of steel,

Tho' Time's teeth they scorn to feel:

Brass is not so bold as Pride,

If on Power's wings it ride;

Marble's not so hard as Spite

Arm'd with lawless Strength and Might.

Right and just Possession, be

Potent names, when Laws stand free:

But if once that rampart fall,

Stoutest thieves inherit all:

To be rich and weak's a sure

And sufficient forfeiture.

Seek no more abroad, say I,

House and Home, but turn thine eye

Inward, and observe thy breast;

There alone dwells solid Rest.

That's a close immuréd tower

Which can mock all hostile power.

To thyself a tenant be,

And inhabit safe and free.

Say not that this House is small,

Girt up in a narrow wall:

In a cleanly sober mind

Heaven itself full room doth find.

Th' Infinite CREATOR can

Dwell in it; and may not Man?

Here content make thy abode

With thyself and with thy GOD.

Here in this sweet privacy

May'st thou with thyself agree,

And keep House in peace, tho' all

Th' Universe's fabric fall.

No disaster can distress thee,

Nor no Fury dispossess thee:


Let all war and plunder come,

Still may'st thou dwell safe at Home.

Home is everywhere to thee,

Who can'st thine own dwelling be;

Yea, tho' ruthless Death assail thee,

Still thy lodging will not fail thee;

Still thy Soul's thine own; and she

To an House removed shall be;

An eternal House above,

Wall'd, and roof'd, and paved with Love.

There shall these mud-walls of thine,

Gallantly repair'd, out-shine

Mortal Stars;--No Stars shall be

In that Heaven but such as Thee.

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