THE TAVERN by Willa Cather
IN the tavern of my heart
Many a one has sat before,
Drunk red wine and sung a stave,
And, departing, come no more.
When the night was cold without,
And the ravens croaked of storm,
They have sat them at my hearth,
Telling me my house was warm.
As the lute and cup went round,
They have rhymed me well in lay;--
When the hunt was on at morn,
Each, departing, went his way.
On the walls, in compliment,
Some would scrawl a verse or two,
Some have hung a willow branch,
Or a wreath of corn-flowers blue.
Ah! my friend, when thou dost go,
Leave no wreath of flowers for me;
Not pale daffodils nor rue,
Violets nor rosemary.
Spill the wine upon the lamps,
Tread the fire, and bar the door;
So despoil the wretched place,
None will come forevermore.