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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The New Household

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

O FORTUNATE, O happy day,

When a new household finds its place

Among the myriad homes of earth,

Like a new star just sprung to birth,

And rolled on its harmonious way

Into the boundless realms of space!

So said the guests in speech and song,

As in the chimney, burning bright,

We hung the iron crane to-night,

And merry was the feast and long.

And now I sit and muse on what may be,

And in my vision see, or seem to see,

Through floating vapors interfused with light,

Shapes indeterminate, that gleam and fade,

As shadows passing into deeper shade

Sink and elude the sight.

For two alone, there in the hall

Is spread the table round and small:

Upon the polished silver shine

The evening lamps, but, more divine,

The light of love shines over all;

Of love, that says not “mine” and “thine,”

But “ours,” for ours is thine and mine.

They want no guests, to come between

Their tender glances like a screen,

And tell them tales of land and sea,

And whatsoever may betide

The great, forgotten world outside;

They want no guests: they needs must be

Each other’s own best company.