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Home, Sweet Home
John Howard Payne


'Mid pleasures and palaces, though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
Home! sweet home!
There's no place like home!
An exile from home, splendour dazzles in vain!
Oh! give me my lovely thatch'd cottage again!
The birds singing gaily that came at my call,
Give me them, with the peace of mind dearer than all!
Home! sweet home!
There's no place like home!

This poem is in the public domain.

John Howard Payne (1791-1852) was born in New York City where, despite his father's disapproval, he established himself as a gifted stage actor. In his early twenties, John moved to London, garnering great acclaim, if not great fortune, as a performer, writer, and translator. He was the first American actor to appear on a London stage, and the first American actor to portray the character of Hamlet. This poem, set to music for an opera John wrote, brought him instant fame and recognition, though not much money, due to a royalty infringement. Audiences in Europe and America fell in love with the poignant lyrics (it was said to be one of President Lincoln's favorite songs) and "Home, Sweet Home" is considered today as one of the most beloved songs of all times. John returned to America in 1832 and devoted several years to researching the heritage and rights of the Cherokee Indians before accepting a presidential appointment as the U.S. consul in Tunisia. He died in service to his country. At one point, John had a serious crush on Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein; unfortunately, she had no romantic interest whatsoever in poor John, preferring his best friend, Washington Irving.

Post New Comment:
What more can be said, but "Amen!"
Posted 11/27/2011 01:10 PM

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