Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
VI. Animate Nature
The Housekeeper
Charles Lamb (1775–1834)
THE FRUGAL snail, with forecast of repose,
Carries his house with him where’er he goes;
Peeps out,—and if there comes a shower of rain,
Retreats to his small domicile again.
Touch but a tip of him, a horn,—’t is well,—        5
He curls up in his sanctuary shell.
He ’s his own landlord, his own tenant; stay
Long as he will, he dreads no Quarter Day.
Himself he boards and lodges; both invites
And feasts himself; sleeps with himself o’ nights.        10
He spares the upholsterer trouble to procure
Chattels; himself is his own furniture,
And his sole riches. Wheresoe’er he roam,—
Knock when you will,—he ’s sure to be at home.

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