I DWELL in a lonely house I know That vanished many a summer ago, And left no trace but the cellar walls, And a cellar in which the daylight falls, And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.
O'er ruined fences the grape-vines shield The woods come back to the mowing field; The orchard tree has grown one copse Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops; The footpath down to the well is healed.
I dwell with a strangely aching heart In that vanished abode there far apart On that disused and forgotten road That has no dust-bath now for the toad. Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;
The whippoorwill is coming to shout And hush and cluck and flutter about: I hear him begin far enough away Full many a time to say his say Before he arrives to say it out.
It is under the small, dim, summer star. I know not who these mute folk are Who share the unlit place with me-- Those stones out under the low-limbed tree Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.
They are tireless folk, but slow and sad, Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,-- With none among them that ever sings, And yet, in view of how many things, As sweet companions as might be had.