Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


Dulce Domum

By Anonymous Translation

  • About two hundred and thirty years ago, a scholar of St. Mary’s College, Winchester, was, for some offence committed, confined by order of the master, and it being just previous to the Whitsuntide vacation, was not permitted to visit his friends, but remained a prisoner at the college, as report says, tied to a pillar. During this period he composed [in Latin] the well-known “Dulce Domum,” being the recollections of the pleasures he was wont to join in at that season of the year. Grief at the disgrace and the disappointment he endured so heavily affected him that he did not live to witness the return of his companions, at the end of their holidays.
  • In commemoration of the above, annually on the evening preceding the Whitsun holidays, the master, scholars, and choristers of the above college, attended by a band of music, walk in procession round the court of the college and the pillar to which it is alleged the unfortunate youth was tied, and chant the verses which he composed in his affliction.—Hone’s Every-Day Book, II. 710.

  • SING a sweet melodious measure,

    Waft enchanting lays around;

    Home! a theme replete with pleasure!

    Home! a grateful theme resound!

    Home, sweet home! an ample treasure!

    Home! with every blessing crowned!

    Home! perpetual source of pleasure!

    Home! a noble strain, resound.

    Lo! the joyful hour advances;

    Happy season of delight!

    Festal songs and festal dances

    All our tedious toil requite.

    Leave, my wearied Muse, thy learning,

    Leave thy task, so hard to bear;

    Leave thy labor, ease returning,

    Leave this bosom, O my care.

    See the year, the meadow, smiling!

    Let us then a smile display,

    Rural sports, our pain beguiling,

    Rural pastimes call away.

    Now the swallow seeks her dwelling,

    And no longer roves to roam;

    Her example thus impelling,

    Let us seek our native home.

    Let our men and steeds assemble,

    Panting for the wide champaign;

    Let the ground beneath us tremble,

    While we scour along the plain.

    O, what raptures, O, what blisses,

    When we gain the lovely gate!

    Mother’s arms and mother’s kisses

    There our blessed arrival wait.

    Greet our household-gods with singing,

    Lend, O Lucifer, thy ray;

    Why should light, so slowly springing,

    All our promised joys delay?