Original Text
Clari; or, The Maid of Milan; An Opera, in Three Acts, As First Performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, On Thursday, May 8th, 1823 (London: John Miller, 1823): 8. Princeton University Library PR 1271 P52 no. 3.
3A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
4Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
5        Home! sweet home!
6        There's no place like home!
7An exile from home, splendour dazzles in vain!
8Oh! give me my lovely thatch'd cottage again!
9The birds singing gaily that came at my call,
10Give me them, with the peace of mind DEARER than all!
11        Home! sweet home!
12        There's no place like home!


1] Clari is a country maiden confined at court by the Duke, who is infatuated with her and has lured her from her home with a false promise of marriage. She sings this song at her entrance in Act I, scene 1, "fatigued and melancholy." Vespina, her maid servant, asks Clari where she learned it. Clari answers:
Where I learned other lessons I ought ne'er to have forgotten. It is the song of my native village -- the hymn of the lowly heart which dwells upon every lip there, and, like a spell-word, brings back to its home the affection which e'er has been betrayed to wander from it. It is the first music heard by infancy in its cradle; and our cottagers, blending it with all their earliest and tenderest recollections, never cease to feel its magic till they cease to live!
The song, whose music the title-page attributes to Henry R. Bishop, is partly reprised in Scene 3 by Leoda (16) and in Act III, scene 3 (39-40), by the villagers in Clari's home, to which she has at last found her way back. Her father Rolamo scorns her as having left him "to follow a villain" but, when the Duke suddenly arrives and Rolamo threatens to kill him, Clari rushes to stand between them. The repentant Duke proclaims Clari's virtue, much to her parents' relief, and asks for her hand in marriage, which her father grants.

The popularity of this, one of the most-loved songs in America, can be witnessed by the film of The Wizard of Oz (1939) when Dorothy, played by Judy Garland, quotes its refrain. Back to Line

2] there's: "there'e" in original. Back to Line
Publication Start Year
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition
RPO 1999.