Home and Love Poem Notes – Summary, Glossary, Explanation & Poetic Devices

‘Home and Love’ is a beautiful poem by Robert service. The poem ‘Home and Love’ highlights the close relationship between home and love to keep we humans in comfort and emotional security. Here you would get a comprehensive notes package containing the poem ‘Home and Love’ and its summary, line by line as well as stanza wise explanation and glossary, themes, central idea, message and poetic devices used in the poem ‘Home and Love’. Click here for Q/Ans. based on this poem.

Home and Love Poem by Robert Service
Home and Love Poem by Robert Service

Poem: Home and Love

Robert Service


“Home and Love” by Robert Service is a poem that celebrates the profound significance of two simple words: “home” and “love”. The poem begins by highlighting the brevity of these words, yet asserts that they encompass a depth of emotion unmatched by any other words. It emphasises the interdependence of home and love, stating that neither is complete without the other. Without love, home becomes bitter, and without a home, love brings pain. The speaker concludes that having both home and love leads to true happiness and fulfilment, regardless of one’s material wealth. Overall, the poem underscores the transformative power of these fundamental human experiences and suggests that they are essential for a joyful and meaningful life.

Explanation – Line by Line

Stanza 1

In the first stanza we can see how Robert Service explores the depth and significance of “Home” and “Love” in this poem, highlighting their emotional richness and completeness.

1. “Just Home and Love! the words are small”: The poem starts by emphasising the simplicity of the words “Home” and “Love,” each comprising only four letters. The brevity of the words contrasts with their profound meanings, suggesting that despite their simplicity, they hold immense significance.

2. “Four little letters unto each;”: Both “Home” and “Love” consist of only four letters. This line reinforces the idea that even though these words are short, they carry significant emotional weight and depth.

3. “And yet you will not find in all”: Despite their simplicity, these words hold great importance. The poet suggests that these words are so powerful that there are no other words in the entirety of language that can adequately express their meaning.

4. “The wide and gracious range of speech”: Referring to the vastness and generosity of language. The poet implies that even though language offers a wide variety of words, none can match the tenderness and completeness of “Home” and “Love.”

5. “Two more so tenderly complete:”: Describing “Home” and “Love” as emotionally fulfilling and whole. The poet emphasises the profound emotional completeness conveyed by these words, suggesting they encapsulate the essence of fulfilment and happiness.

6. “When angels talk in Heaven above,”: Imagining celestial beings conversing in heaven. The poet elevates the significance of “Home” and “Love” by suggesting that even angels in heaven would find no sweeter or more meaningful words.

7. “I’m sure they have no words more sweet”: Expressing certainty that angels have no sweeter words in their vocabulary. Reinforcing the idea that “Home” and “Love” are the epitome of sweetness and emotional richness.

8. “Than Home and Love.”: No words are sweeter than “Home” and “Love.” This line serves as a concluding statement, reaffirming the central theme of the poem—the unmatched significance and beauty of “Home” and “Love.”

Stanza 2

In the second stanza, Robert Service continues to explore the theme of the interconnectedness of “Home” and “Love,” highlighting their mutual importance and suggesting that true happiness requires the presence of both elements.

1. “Just Home and Love! it’s hard to guess”: The poet reiterates the simplicity of “Home” and “Love” and suggests that it’s difficult to determine which is more valuable. This line emphasises the theme of the interdependence of “Home” and “Love,” suggesting that they are both essential elements of a fulfilling life.

2. “Which of the two were best to gain;”: The poet wonders which is more desirable or beneficial to possess, “Home” or “Love.” This line introduces the idea of comparing the merits of “Home” and “Love,” suggesting that each has its own unique value.

3. “Home without Love is bitterness;”: Living in a physical home without the presence of love leads to bitterness or unhappiness. This line conveys the idea that a house devoid of love lacks warmth and emotional fulfilment, leading to a sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction.

4. “Love without Home is often pain.”: Being in a loving relationship without a physical home or stable environment can lead to pain or discomfort. This line suggests that love alone, without a stable and nurturing home environment, can be difficult or painful, emphasising the importance of both elements in a fulfilling life.

5. “No! each alone will seldom do;”: Neither “Home” nor “Love” alone is sufficient for happiness. The poet emphasises the idea that true fulfilment requires the presence of both “Home” and “Love,” suggesting that they complement each other and are necessary for a complete and contented life.

6. “Somehow they travel hand and glove:”:  “Home” and “Love” are closely connected or intertwined. This line reinforces the idea of the symbiotic relationship between “Home” and “Love,” suggesting that they naturally go together and enhance each other’s significance.

7. “If you win one you must have two,”: To truly succeed or find happiness, one must possess both “Home” and “Love.” This line reinforces the central theme of the poem, emphasising the inseparable nature of “Home” and “Love” and suggesting that they are essential components of a fulfilling life.

Stanza 3

In the third stanza, Robert Service reinforces the idea that the presence of “Home” and “Love” leads to profound happiness and fulfilment, regardless of external circumstances. He emphasises their transformative power, suggesting that they elevate life to a divine level of joy and meaning.

1. “And if you’ve both, well then I’m sure”: If you possess both “Home” and “Love,” then the poet is certain. This line suggests a sense of assurance and confidence in the idea that having both elements leads to happiness and fulfilment.

2. “You ought to sing the whole day long;”: You should sing joyfully throughout the entire day.: The poet uses imagery of singing to convey the immense happiness and contentment that comes from having both “Home” and “Love,” suggesting that they inspire continuous joy and gratitude.

3. “It doesn’t matter if you’re poor”:  Your financial status, even if you’re poor, doesn’t affect this happiness. This line emphasises that the wealth of “Home” and “Love” transcends material possessions, suggesting that true happiness is not dependent on material wealth but on emotional fulfilment.

4. “With these to make divine your song.”: “Home” and “Love” elevate and enrich your life to a divine level, making your song (life) sacred or heavenly. The poet suggests that the presence of “Home” and “Love” transforms one’s life into something divine or sacred, imbuing it with profound meaning and joy.

5. “And so I praisefully repeat,”: The poet repeats with praise. This line indicates the poet’s fervent belief in the importance and beauty of “Home” and “Love,” emphasising their significance through repetition.

6. “When angels talk in Heaven above,”:  Imagining conversations among angels in heaven. The poet once again elevates the concept of “Home” and “Love” to a celestial level, suggesting that even heavenly beings would find them incomparably sweet and meaningful.

7. “There are no words more simply sweet”: There are no sweeter words. This line emphasises the simplicity and sweetness of “Home” and “Love,” suggesting that their beauty lies in their uncomplicated yet profound nature.

8. “Than Home and Love.”:  No words are sweeter than “Home” and “Love.”: The stanza concludes by reiterating the central theme of the poem—that “Home” and “Love” are the epitome of sweetness and emotional fulfilment.

Stanza Wise Explanation and Analysis

Stanza 1:


  • Small: Simple and short words, The words “Home” and “Love” are short and simple, only four letters each.
  • Gracious range of speech: All the beautiful and elegant ways we can use language.
  • Tenderly: In a kind, gentle and loving way
  • Complete: Whole or perfect
  • Tenderly complete: Expressing deep affection and having everything needed.
  • Angels: Heavenly beings often associated with goodness and love.


The speaker starts by highlighting the simplicity of the words “home” and “love”, each being composed of just four letters. Despite their brevity, the speaker asserts that these words encapsulate a depth of emotion not found in any other words. The speaker imagines even angels in heaven using these words because they are so sweet and meaningful.

This stanza emphasises the power and significance of simple, everyday words. It suggests that profound emotions like comfort, belonging, and affection are encompassed by these seemingly ordinary words. The reference to angels using these words suggests their universal importance and enduring value.

Stanza 2:


  • Gain: To achieve or possess something, To have or get something good, like having a home or finding love.
  • Bitterness: A sad and negative feeling that upsets you, like living in a lonely house.
  • Pain: Emotional hurt, like being in love but having nowhere to call your own.
  • Seldom: Not often. Having just a home or just love won’t make you truly happy most of the time.
  • Travel: Go or remain together
  • hand in glove: Phrase meaning closely associated or fitting together perfectly, like a hand and a glove fit perfectly together, so do home and love. You usually want both.


The speaker ponders which is more important, home or love, but concludes that both are necessary. Home without love leads to bitterness, and love without a home leads to pain. The speaker asserts that neither one alone is sufficient; they must go together. Winning one means having both, as they complement each other.

This stanza explores the interdependence of home and love. It suggests that without one, the other is incomplete and can even lead to negative emotions. The phrase “hand and glove” suggests a close and inseparable relationship between the two concepts, reinforcing the idea that they are meant to be together.

Stanza 3:


  • Poor: Not having a lot of money or material things.
  • Divine: Makes something ordinary feel wonderful, special, beautiful and heavenly.
  • Praisefully: Saying something good with appreciation and admiration. The speaker is saying “Home and Love” are the best words ever!
  • Simply sweet: Pleasant and straightforward.


The speaker concludes by stating that if you have both home and love, you should be joyful and sing all day long. It doesn’t matter if you’re poor because having home and love enriches your life and makes everything divine. The stanza ends with a repetition of the sentiment that there are no sweeter words than “home” and “love”, even in heaven.

This stanza emphasises the transformative power of having both home and love in one’s life. It suggests that regardless of material wealth, the presence of home and love brings divine joy and fulfilment. The repetition of the phrase “Home and Love” reinforces their importance and sweetness, echoing the sentiment from the beginning of the poem.

Theme of “Home and Love”

The poem “Home and Love” by Robert Service explores several themes:

The Importance of Home: The poem highlights the significance of having a home, a place of comfort, security, and belonging. It suggests that without a home, life can be filled with bitterness and pain.

The Power of Love: Love is portrayed as an essential component of a fulfilling life. The poem suggests that love brings joy, sweetness, and divine fulfilment. Without love, life is depicted as incomplete and filled with pain.

Interdependence: One of the central themes of the poem is the idea of interdependence between home and love. The speaker emphasises that both are necessary for true happiness, and that they complement each other. Without one, the other is diminished.

Contentment: The poem suggests that true contentment and happiness come from having both home and love. It implies that material wealth is not essential for a joyful life as long as one has these fundamental elements.

Universal Significance: Through references to angels in heaven using the words “home” and “love,” the poem suggests that these concepts are universally valued and understood across cultures and realms. They are depicted as simple yet profoundly meaningful words that resonate with all beings.

Overall, the poem explores the themes of home, love, interdependence, contentment, and universal significance, conveying a message about the essential elements of a fulfilling life.

Central Idea of “Home and Love”

The central idea of the poem “Home and Love” by Robert Service is that the concepts of home and love are essential for a fulfilling and meaningful life. The poem emphasises the interdependence of these two elements, suggesting that neither is complete without the other. It highlights the transformative power of having a place of belonging (home) and experiencing affection and connection (love). Additionally, the poem suggests that material wealth is not necessary for happiness as long as one has the comfort of home and the presence of love. Overall, the central idea underscores the importance of cultivating loving relationships and creating a nurturing environment within the context of a place to call home.

Message of “Home and Love”

The message conveyed by the poem “Home and Love” by Robert Service is that true happiness and fulfilment in life come from the combination of having a loving home environment. It emphasises the importance of both home and love, suggesting that they are essential components of a fulfilling life.

The poem suggests that without love, a home can become a place of bitterness, and without a home, love can lead to pain. It stresses the interdependence of these two concepts, highlighting that they complement each other and are necessary for a balanced and joyful existence.

Furthermore, the poem implies that material wealth is not a prerequisite for happiness. Instead, it suggests that the presence of a loving home and meaningful relationships can bring a sense of divine joy and contentment, regardless of one’s financial status.

Overall, the message of the poem is that the combination of home and love is invaluable, bringing sweetness, fulfilment, and a sense of belonging to one’s life. It encourages readers to prioritise cultivating loving relationships and creating a nurturing home environment to experience true happiness and contentment.

Poetic Devices in “Home and Love”

The poem “Home and Love” by Robert Service utilises several poetic devices to convey its message effectively:

1. Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows a consistent rhyme scheme (ABABCDCD) throughout each stanza, contributing to its musicality and flow.

2. Repetition: The repetition of the phrase “Home and Love” throughout the poem reinforces the central theme and emphasises the importance of these concepts.

3. Alliteration: The poem contains instances of alliteration, such as “sure and sweet” and “simply sweet,” which create a musical quality and enhance the poem’s rhythm.

4. Imagery: The poem uses vivid imagery to evoke emotions and paint a picture in the reader’s mind. For example, phrases like “angels talk in Heaven above” and “make divine your song” create visual and sensory impressions.

5. Metaphor: The poem employs metaphorical language, such as comparing home and love to “angels talk in Heaven above,” to convey the idea of their significance and sweetness.

6. Personification: The poem personifies home and love by suggesting they can experience bitterness and pain, adding depth to their portrayal as essential aspects of human life.

The personification of angels talking in heaven above adds a mystical quality to the poem and reinforces the idea of the universality of the themes of home and love.

7. Symbolism: Home and love are used as symbols representing comfort, security, belonging, and affection, enriching the poem’s meaning and thematic depth..

8. Parallelism: The poem uses parallel structures, such as repeating the phrase “Just Home and Love!” at the beginning of each stanza, to create a sense of balance and unity in the poem.

9. Contrast: The poem contrasts the bitterness of home without love and the pain of love without a home, highlighting the importance of the symbiotic relationship between the two concepts.

10. Assonance: The repetition of vowel sounds in phrases like “complete” and “sweet” adds harmony and rhythm to the poem.

11. Parallelism: The repeated structure of each stanza with similar phrasing (“Just Home and Love!,” “And if you’ve both, well then I’m sure…”) creates a sense of unity and coherence throughout the poem.

These poetic devices work together to create a rich and resonant exploration of the themes of home and love, engaging the reader both intellectually and emotionally.

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