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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Family, People and Relationships

I want to go home

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

“I want to go home,” said a weary schoolboy.
All day his mischievous eyes had wandered out of the Window, and he was impatient to be where his thoughts were, out in the bright, merry sunshine, climbing trees, chasing butterflies, or bounding like an antelope over the rocks of Roaring Brook. Others, older and wiser than he might like soul-life; but he didn’t – not he. He liked the free use of his limbs and freedom of speech to well for that. Ah! little boy, you are not the only one in life’s great journey that wants to go home.

“I want to go home,” said a young songstress.
“I have won the position my ambition craved; and now, weary at last, I would to home”. So said a young girl, whose voice of thrilling power and sweetness had made her once humble name the theme of every tongue. She was honoured and admired; for all bowed to the shrine of her beauty and genius, and the fire of conscious power and pride burned in her bright, dark eye. But this night, after the last song had been sung, and the last sweet note had died upon the listeners’ ears – when she was at last free from all their curious though admiring eyes, she had stolen away to a quiet spot, and thought, half bitterly, of all the incense of praise offered for her acceptance. “Who among all this flattering crowed,” thought she, would recognize me in poverty and misfortune?”

“I want to go home,” said a States prison convict.
Crime had knit his brows, and lent a fierce expression to his once beautiful eye. For years he had been a prisoner; but time only seemed to harden his crime-stained heart, and darken the scrowl on his once noble brow. He was tempted, as many another had been, and had fallen. Of the happy innocent child, time had made the hardened villain. Memory had carried him back to his childhood home. He seemed to see again the cottage on the hillside, and to walk the now desolate rooms. The time sweet wild roses bloomed under the window. The time old watchdog welcomed him at the door. “Home, sweet home.” No other home could be sweeter than this; no brothers more noble or sister more affectionate than were his. No wonder he wept when he thought of that sweet home-circle. Memory had done what nothing else could; it had softened his hard heart, and caused those bitter tears to flow.

“I want to go home,” said a homeless orphan.
The memory of the Vine Cottage was ever to him a source of tears. Rudely thrown upon a heartless world in his tender youth, what wonder that he felt desolate and forsaken? What wonder those smiling eyes were learning to look sorrowful; for how could he look happy when bowed with affliction? Can we be happy when the heart is breaking? The dark wings of death has swept over Vine Cottage and swept away its dearest treasures. The aged grandfather had left his arm-chair long ago, under the shade trees his hand had planted, for the last time; and the lambs of the flock were scattered – one here, one there; and he, the youngest, must go drifting seaward to fight the now pitiless storms of life alone. Oh, how hard for him to smother his grief, and smile as of yore. Harder yet to find the old home-loving among strangers.

“I want to go home,” said a widowed mother.
Her bright dreams of the future had changed to stern realities. Troubles and cares had crept, one by one, into her once happy home, and want and sorrow had long since crossed her threshold. They surrounded her, and looked upon her misery with cruel eyes that filled her own with gloom. The bright orange-blossoms of a young bride’s head were only mournful cypress-leaves now; and, like wind-sea-fruits, had perished in her grasp. And now that the drunkard had yielded his very life to a depraved appetite, the drunkard’s wife and children must seek a home. But where? In the home of her childhood, the home of her happier days. It had lived in her memory all those long, weary years; and there she would go, and, if possible, forget.

“I want to go home,” said a wounded soldier.
How full of life he had been; how full of hope. But it was over now, that dreadful encounter, and amidst its perils he had never swerved. Through all its horrors and desolation he never faltered. Alas! For him, that all had been in vain. And now, though the love of the dear old tag burned steady and clear in his young heart, tender thoughts, and strong yearnings for home and mother, were there too. Poor boy! The gentle flower-scented air just stirred the soft bright hair on a brow soft and white as a child’s. And there was such a wistful beseeching look in his soft eyes, that would have touched the hardest heart. But soon he was going home – home to the green hills; home to weary waiting for white-robed peace to brush away the blood of brothers from the sunny soil. The cause was great; and the price was blood. It was given freely. Would God accept the offering? Who could tell? But he must leave all in God’s hands. Had he not done what he could?

“I want to go home,” said a dying Christian.
The shadows deepened on the lawn; the clock’s solemn tick seemed to say: “A life has almost waned; a few short hours, and the silver cord will be loosed and the golden bowl be broken.” No sobs from near and dear friends broke the silence of the room, for “Death seemed to have lost his sting.” He raised his head; and smiling, said. – “I am almost home.”

Already he seemed to see the crown of glory and hear the music of Paradise. And, oh, the halo round an Angel’s brow could not be more pure and glorious than that dying smile. One more look on those he loved and the weary head fell back; the last sigh escaped the bosom and the old pilgrim is home at last in the most beautiful, sweetest of homes.

I want to go homeO Home! dearest of words, round which so many pleasant associations of the past must ever cluster – magic word can bring tears to aged eyes, and stir the heart oft with painful pleasures, like the refrain of some old song heard before, but long ago. Is not heaven itself called home? And we need a home; we need happiness; we need rest; and Heaven is rest, and loves a great home-circle for the suffering sin-cursed earth.