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An Old House


Bathed in mystery and moonlight,
 Wistfully it stands
At the end of a lonely, winding road
 Where cobwebs hang in strands
Of dusty lace an old ghost hung
 Before a sagging door—
And winds go moaning through the rooms
 With fog from down the moor.
Never a light—nor sound, nor laugh—
 Never a footfall—wait!
What was that?—did I hear a step
 Down by the creaking gate?
Echoes resounding in empty halls—
 Shadows that spring like cats—
Sudden drafts that seem like breaths,
 And a fluttering of bats.
Eery tenants—ghosts of old—
 Loves and griefs—and tears—
Underneath a leaking roof
 Haunting mildewed years.
Straggling roses climb the porches
 Hiding broken panes,
Though their roots be dry and fainting
 Waiting for the rains.
Bathed in silent, moonlit fragrance,
 I hear the old ghosts talk—
Must be wind in that old maple
 Down the lonely walk.
Bats, and broken, paneless windows—
 Creaking shutters—weeds—
Loneliness and sobbing wind ghosts,
 Wait for the friend it needs.