The little house has grown too small, or rather we have grown
Too big to dwell within the walls where all our joys were known.
And so, obedient to the wish of her we love so well,
I have agreed for sordid gold the little home to sell.
Now strangers come to see the place, and secretly I sigh,
And deep within my breast I hope that they’ll refuse to buy.
‘This bedroom’s small,’ one woman said; up went her nose in scorn!
To me that is the splendid room where little Bud was born.
‘The walls are sadly finger-marked,’ another stranger said.
A lump came rising in my throat; I felt my cheeks grow red.
‘Yes, yes,’ I answered, ‘so they are. The fingermarks are free
But I’d not leave them here if I could take them all with me.’
‘The stairway shows the signs of wear.’ I answered her in heat,
‘That’s but the glorious sign to me of happy little feet.
Most anyone can have a flight of shiny stairs and new
But those are steps where joy has raced, and love and laughter, too.’
‘This paper’s ruined! Here are scrawled some pencil marks, I note.’
I’d treasured them for years. They were the first he ever wrote.
Oh I suppose we’ll sell the place; it’s right that we should go;
The children must have larger rooms in which to live and grow.
But all my joys were cradled here; ’tis here I’ve lived my best,
‘Tis here, whatever else shall come, we’ve been our happiest;
And though into a stranger’s hands this home I shall resign,
And take his gold in pay for it, I still shall call it mine.