I am posting some of Edgar A. Guest's poems about the home and family because I believe home life needs so much more prominence in a people's minds. Guest's poems emphasized the importance of the basic foundation of the home in people's lives, and that nothing is really more important.
I believe reading this aloud will help emphasize the points much more, and his poetry should be read aloud in the family.His poems should be read over and over to instill in family members the importance of the family they are in, and how they can help to keep it strong and keep it a place where they belong; how little things, bit by bit, have meaning and contribute to the strength and importance of the home.
This particular verse is one of the very few I have seen of Guest that uses the colloquial expressions, leaving off the g's and t's to give it a sound of the common man. Read it with expression and you will find yourself liking it more. I especially love the phrase:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore Ye hoard; an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumbmarks on the door.
I have read poem aloud and recorded it on my computer but have not quite figured out how to post the recording here. Any help you can give me will be appreciated.
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything.
Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;
Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it;
Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born, and then
Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ‘em up t’ women good, an’ men;
And gradjerly, as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part
With anything they ever used—they’ve grown into yer heart:
The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore
Ye hoard; an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumbmarks on the door.
Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home, ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh
An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed, an’ know that Death is nigh;
An’ in the stillness o’ the night t’ see Death’s angel come,
An’ close the eyes o’ her that smiled, an’ leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an’ when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an’ sanctified;
An’ tuggin’ at ye always are the pleasant memories
O’ her that was an’ is no more—ye can’t escape from these.
Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play,
An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day;
Even the roses ’round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they ’come a part o’ ye, suggestin’ someone dear
Who used t’ love ’em long ago, an’ trained ’em jes’ t’ run
The way they do, so’s they would get the early mornin’ sun;
Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone from cellar up t’ dome:
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home.