A decorative double-ruled border surrounds the poem page. Decorations at each of the four corners give the border a twig-tied appearance. They feature crossed double-ruled bars tied together with string in an X-shaped knot.

Homeward Bound.

Our trusty, well-beloved friend1
Was homeward bound across the sea,2
From lonely sojourn in far lands3
He came to clasp our clasping hands,4
To hear our welcome sweet ;5
To bring his wanderings to an end6
In this dear home with mine and me,7
To make my quiet bliss complete.8
I come,” he wrote (his letter lies9
Before me in the sunshine fair),10
I come with heart content, to see11
The joy which God hath given to thee,12
My comrade true and tried ;13
I fain would see it with mine eyes,14
I fain would hear thyself declare15
How deep thine happiness, how wide.16
I come because I long to see17
The bonny English flowers a-bloom,18
Because a spirit of unrest19
Doth vex my lately-quiet breast20
With whispers in my sleep21
Of daisied meadow, breezy lea,22
Of April sunshine and perfume,23
Of heath-clad mountains grey and steep.24
I come because the rolling years25
Have stilled the passion of my youth,26
Because the rugged path of time27
Hath led me up to heights sublime,28
And I, who could not see29
Thy first great bliss for blinding tears,30
I say to-day in honest truth31
God’s way was best for thee, and me.32
I come to take thine hand, my friend,33
To look upon thy sweet wife’s face,34
To see thy children fond and fair ;35
To breathe again the blessed air36
That fanned me at my birth ;37
Until (beside thee to the end)38
I go from forth my dwelling-place39
To find a grave on English earth.40
I come, my friend.” Ah me ! sweet wife,41
What marvel that the tears run down ?42
What marvel that these tender words43
Smite mournfully on true heart-chords,44
Since he, whose thoughts they bear,45
He, who had loved us all his life,46
Who for love’s sake laid down love’s crown,47
Hath parted from us otherwhere ?48
He thought to see our happy home,49
Our wedded bliss, our children dear,50
He thought to see thee by my side,51
Who dared not look upon my bride,52
Who loved thee in his prime :53
But o’er his grave, with crests of foam54
The wild Atlantic billows rear55
Their heads, and make a mournful chime.56
He will not see this home of ours,57
This little Eden all our own,58
He will not bring within our door59
An added blessing to love’s store60
Of cheerful sacrifice ;61
And to the height of heavenly flowers62
Our precious blossoms will have grown63
Before they meet his kindly eyes.64
He will not see, my sweetest wife,65
Thy radiant beauty past its morn,66
Nor tender traces of the tears,67
The sighs and smiles, the hopes and fears,68
Of wife’s and mother’s care.69
If through the mists of failing life,70
He saw thy face, it must have worn71
The look that I remember there.72
The April look of long ago,73
When all were young and thou wast free,74
And on the hawthorn-bordered way75
We loitered in the glad noon-day,76
Beneath a sapphire sky :77
Ah, wife ! then dawned love’s summer glow,78
My beating heart sprang out to thee,79
But my true friend went silent by.80
He was the worthier of the twain,81
His pulses beat as strong as mine,82
He looked on thee with lover’s eyes,83
And never sought to win the prize,84
But standing calm apart,85
Smiled brotherly upon my gain,86
And pressed into my cup of wine87
The crushed, ripe first-fruits of his heart.88
Ah, my lost friend ! that tender debt89
Which we had purposed to repay,90
The debt which came with sweet love’s birth,91
Can never be repaid on earth.92
But thou hast surely found93
A happy end to life’s regret ;94
God’s Angel met thee by the way,95
And thou, indeed, wast homeward bound !96