by Robert Louis Stevenson
Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me;
"Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
and the hunter home from the hill."
|Vintage Cloth doll of a 19th c. sailor|
Home is the Sailor
by A.E. Houseman
Home is the sailor, home from sea:
Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
The plunder of the world.
Home is the hunter from the hill:
Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will'
And every fowl of air.
'Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit save is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.
|Dolls representing the family from Godden's Home is the Sailor|
I was born near an ocean, and my great grandfather, grandfather, and cousin were all sailors. These two poems inspired the title of one o f my favorite novels on dolls, Rumer Godden's Home is the Sailor. The book means even more to me because Godden herself wrote to me when I was writing my dissertation.
|The Doll's Shell Garden from Home is the Sailor|
Years later, I would present conference papers and write articles about Rumer Godden, but sad serendipity reminded me of the poems that launched the title of her novel about a family of doll house dolls in Wales suffering loss because three of their sailors disappeared, and ultimately, returned home.
Here is an excerpt from one of my papers on Godden, with emphasis on Home is the Sailor: