Charles Harpur

The Home of Peace

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Trust and treachery, wisdom, folly,
Madness, mirth and melancholy,
Love and hatred, thrift and pillage,
All are housed in every village.
And in such a world’s mixed being,
Where may peace, from ruin fleeing,
Find fit shelter and inherit
All the calm of her own merit?

In a bark of gentle motion
Sailing on the summer ocean?
There worst war the tempest wages,
And the hungry whirlpool rages.

In some lonely new-world bower
Hidden like a forest flower?
There, too, there, to fray the stranger
Stalks the wild-eyed savage, danger!

In some Alpine cot, by fountains
Flowing from snow-shining mountains?
There the avalanches thunder,
Crushing all that lieth under!

In some hermit-tent, pitched lowly
Mid the tombs of prophets holy?
There to harry and annoy her
Roams the infidel destroyer.

In palatial chambers gilded,
Guarded round with towers high-builded?
Change may enter these to-morrow,
And with change may enter sorrow.

Find, O peace, thy home of beauty
In the steadfast heart of duty,
Dwelling ever there, and seeing
God through every phase of being

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Charles Harpur