Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on Home Ideals: 24. "Love, and the Smiling Face of Her."

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Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on Home Ideals: 24. "Love, and the Smiling Face of Her."

TOPIC: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on Home Ideals (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 24. "Love, and the Smiling Face of Her."

Other Subjects in this Topic:

"Love, and the Smiling Face of Her."

Home is the holy of holies of a man's life. There he withdraws from all the world, and, shutting his door, is alone with those who are his own. It is the reservoir of his strength, the restorer of his energies, the resting-place from his toil, the brooding place for his spirit, the inspiration for all his activities and battles.

Home is where love lies. Not where it boards, nor pays occasional visits, even long visits, nor even where it may be a sort of permanent guest, with familiar access to certain rooms and cosy corners. But where it owns the front-door key, sits by the glow of a hearth-fire of its own kindling, and pervades the whole house with its presence. It may be a king's spacious, luxurious palace. It may be the poor man's narrow-walled cottage, or anywhere in between these two extremes.

The palace cannot make the home, nor yet mar it. The simplicity and spareness of the cottage do not bring the home, and neither can they hinder nor disturb it.

There may be present the evidences of wealth and culture and of the sort of refinement that these give, and even the higher refinement they can't give, and yet the place not be a home. And there may be the absence of all this, except that real refinement that love always breeds, and yet there be a home in the sweet, strong meaning of that word.

The first home was in a garden. It was planned so. The freshness and fragrance of the garden filled the home. The wholesome sweetness of nature was the only air breathed. And the garden has never left the home. That first joining together has never been put asunder. Even in the city, where the blueness of the sky, the smile of the stars, and the freshness of real air, are almost forgotten, even there remnants of the garden still cling. Very raggedy remnants they are sometimes, scarcely-seen grass spots upon which the foot is sternly forbidden to go, yet remnants of the original Eden plan. There is always a bit of Eden left, even in the city.

Home things tangle and twine themselves close and clinging about the heart, until the tendrils are unable to unclasp their fingers. To the outside man a chair may be just a chair, one of a thousand; but to you it has a caressing voice, that speaks to your heart of memories and faces and experiences woven inextricably into the fabric of your life.

Home things to eat have a fine flavour all their own, that can't be imitated by any Parisian chef. Everybody who ever had a home, a real home with a garden, knows that a potato served in a hotel, even a fine hotel, has no such taste as the one your own hands have planted, and "worked" and dug up, and that has been cooked and served by hands that love you and that you love.

It is an exquisite picture, in its homely simplicity, and its heart-touches, that James Whitcomb Riley draws for us from the prayer of the London shopkeeper, and angler and author, Isaak Walton:

"I crave, dear Lord,

No boundless hoard

Of gold and gear,

Nor jewels fine,

Nor lands, nor kine,

Nor treasure heaps of anything—

Let but a little hut be mine

Where at the hearthstone I may hear

The cricket sing,

And have the shine

Of one glad woman's eyes to make,

For my poor sake,

Our simple home a place divine—

Just the wee cot—the cricket's chirr—

Love, and the smiling face of her.

"I pray not for

Great riches, nor

For vast estates, and castle halls—

Give me to hear the bare footfalls

Of children o'er

An oaken floor,

New-rinsed with sunshine, or bespread

With but the tiny coverlet

And pillow for the baby's head;

And pray Thou, may

The door stand open and the day

Send ever in a gentle breeze

With fragrance from the locust trees,

And drowsy moan of doves, and blur

Of robin chirps and drone of bees,

With afterhushes of the stir

Of intermingling sounds, and then

The good wife and the smile of her.

Filling the silences again—

The cricket's call

And the wee cot,

Dear Lord of all,

Deny me not!

"I pray not that

Men tremble at

My power of place

And lordly sway—

I only pray for simple grace

To look my neighbour in the face

Full honestly from day to day—

Yield me his horny palm to hold

And I'll not pray

For gold;

The tanned face, garlanded with mirth,

It hath the kingliest smile on earth—

The swart brow, diamonded with sweat,

Hath never need of coronet;

And so I reach,

Dear Lord, to Thee,

And do beseech

Thou givest me

The wee cot and the cricket's chirr,

Love, and the glad sweet face of her!"