Homecoming

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

When I came home from wanderings
In a tall chattering ship,
I thought a hundred happy things,
Of people, places, and such things
As I came sailing home.

The tall ship moved how slowly on
With me and hundreds more,
That thought not then of wanderings,
But of unwhispered, longed-for things,
Familiar things of home.

For not in miles seemed other lands
Far off, but in long years
As we came near to England then;
Even the tall ship heard secret things
As she moved trembling home.

It was at dawn. The chattering ship
Was strangely hushed; faint mist
Crept everywhere, and we crept on,
And every eye was creeping on
The mist, as we moved home....

Until we saw, far, very far,
Or dreamed we saw, her cliffs,
And thought of sweet, intolerable things,
Of England--dark, unwhispered things,
Such things, as we crept home.

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