Hard by I've a cottage that stands near the wood--
A stream glides in peace at the door--
Where all who will tarry, 'tis well understood,
Receive hospitality's store.
To cheer that the brook and the thicket afford,
The stranger we ever invite:
You're welcome to freely partake at the board,
And afterwards rest for the night.
The birds in the morning will sing from the trees,
And herald the young god of day;
Then, with him uprising, depart if you please--
We'll set you refreshed on the way:
You're coin for our service we sternly reject;
No traffic for gain we pursue,
And all the reward that we wish or expect
We take in the good that we do.
Mankind are all pilgrims on life's weary road,
And many would wander astray
In seeking Eternity's silent abode,
Did Mercy not point out the way!
If all would their duty discharge as they should
To those who are friendless and poor,
The world would resemble my cot near the wood,
And life the sweet stream at my door.