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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron 1809–92

The Deserted House


LIFE and Thought have gone away

Side by side,

Leaving door and windows wide:

Careless tenants they!

All within is dark as night:

In the windows is no light;

And no murmur at the door,

So frequent on its hinge before.

Close the door, the shutters close,

Or thro’ the windows we shall see

The nakedness and vacancy

Of the dark deserted house.

Come away: no more of mirth

Is here or merry-making sound.

The house was builded of the earth,

And shall fall again to ground.

Come away: for Life and Thought

Here no longer dwell;

But in a city glorious—

A great and distant city—have bought

A mansion incorruptible.

Would they could have stay’d with us!