Men make them fires on the hearth Each under his roof-tree, And the Four Winds that rule the earth They blow the smoke to me. Across the high hills and the sea And all the changeful skies, The Four Winds blow the smoke to me Till the tears are in my eyes. Until the tears are in my eyes And my heart is wellnigh broke For thinking on old memories That gather in the smoke. With every shift of every wind The homesick memories come, From every quarter of mankind Where I have made me a home. Four times a fire against the cold And a roof against the rain -- Sorrow fourfold and joy fourfold The Four Winds bring again! How can I answer which is best Of all the fires that burn? I have been too often host or guest At every fire in turn. How can I turn from any fire, On any man's hearthstone? I know the [wonder]1 and desire That went to build my own! How can I doubt man's joy or woe Where'er his house-fires shine. Since all that man must undergo Will visit me at mine? Oh, you Four Winds that blow so strong And know that his is true, Stoop for a little and carry my song To all the men I knew! Where there are fires against the cold, Or roofs against the rain -- With love fourfold and joy fourfold, Take them my songs again!
C. Ives sets stanza 7
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
1 Ives: "longing"
Note: quoted by Pres. Hadley in the lecture "Some Influences in Modern Philosophic Thought", Yale University Press; sometimes the Ives song text is credited to him.
- sometimes misattributed to Arthur Twining Hadley (1856 - 1930)
- by Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936), "The fires", appears in Collected Verse of Rudyard Kipling, first published 1907 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Charles Edward Ives (1874 - 1954), "Tolerance", 1909, published 1921/2, stanza 7. [voice and piano] [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2009-02-10
Line count: 40
Word count: 243