Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Angel in the House   By: (1823-1896)

Book cover

First Page:



There could be but one answer to the suggestion of Mr. Coventry Patmore that his "Angel in the House" might usefully have a place in this "National Library." The suggestion was made with the belief that wide and cheap diffusion would not take from the value of a copyright library edition, while the best use of writing is fulfilled by the spreading of verse dedicated to the sacred love of home. The two parts of the Poem appeared in 1854 and 1856, were afterwards elaborately revised, and have since obtained a permanent place among the Home Books of the English People. Our readers will join, surely, in thanks to the author for the present he has made us.

H. M.





'Mine is no horse with wings, to gain The region of the spheral chime; He does but drag a rumbling wain, Cheer'd by the coupled bells of rhyme; And if at Fame's bewitching note My homely Pegasus pricks an ear, The world's cart collar hugs his throat, And he's too wise to prance or rear.'


Thus ever answer'd Vaughan his Wife, Who, more than he, desired his fame; But, in his heart, his thoughts were rife How for her sake to earn a name. With bays poetic three times crown'd, And other college honours won, He, if he chose, might be renown'd, He had but little doubt, she none; And in a loftier phrase he talk'd With her, upon their Wedding Day, (The eighth), while through the fields they walk'd, Their children shouting by the way. 'Not careless of the gift of song, Nor out of love with noble fame, I, meditating much and long What I should sing, how win a name, Considering well what theme unsung, What reason worth the cost of rhyme, Remains to loose the poet's tongue In these last days, the dregs of time, Learn that to me, though born so late, There does, beyond desert, befall (May my great fortune make me great!) The first of themes, sung last of all. In green and undiscover'd ground, Yet near where many others sing, I have the very well head found Whence gushes the Pierian Spring.'


Then she: 'What is it, Dear? The Life Of Arthur, or Jerusalem's Fall?' 'Neither: your gentle self, my Wife, And love, that grows from one to all. And if I faithfully proclaim Of these the exceeding worthiness, Surely the sweetest wreath of Fame Shall, to your hope, my brows caress; And if, by virtue of my choice Of this, the most heart touching theme That ever tuned a poet's voice, I live, as I am bold to dream, To be delight to many days, And into silence only cease When those are still, who shared their bays With Laura and with Beatrice, Imagine, Love, how learned men Will deep conceiv'd devices find, Beyond my purpose and my ken, An ancient bard of simple mind. You, Sweet, his Mistress, Wife, and Muse, Were you for mortal woman meant? Your praises give a hundred clues To mythological intent! And, severing thus the truth from trope, In you the Commentators see Outlines occult of abstract scope, A future for philosophy! Your arm's on mine! these are the meads In which we pass our living days; There Avon runs, now hid with reeds, Now brightly brimming pebbly bays; Those are our children's songs that come With bells and bleatings of the sheep; And there, in yonder English home, We thrive on mortal food and sleep!' She laugh'd. How proud she always was To feel how proud he was of her! But he had grown distraught, because The Muse's mood began to stir.


His purpose with performance crown'd, He to his well pleased Wife rehears'd, When next their Wedding Day came round, His leisure's labour, 'Book the First.'



I. The Impossibility.

Lo, love's obey'd by all. 'Tis right That all should know what they obey, Lest erring conscience damp delight, And folly laugh our joys away... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books