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The National Music of America. 269
poetry of humble life ; may one not carry the parallel further and say of him, as it was said of the Scottish poet:
" The light that led astray was light from Heaven! "
If " The Old Folks at Home" is one of the chief home-songs of the world, one may also claim its companion work, possibly yet more widely known, as an American production, but here only the words belong to our country, — the poem of " Home, Sweet Home." John Howard Payne, the author of the words, was born in New York in 1792. He was long in England, was a constant wanderer over the face of the earth, and, after much poverty and neglect, died at Tunis, as United States consul there, in 1852. It is scarcely proper to claim " Home, Sweet Home " as an American song, but we may be permitted to correct a few errors regarding it. It was a song in a musical play entitled "Clari, the Maid of Milan,"