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

Rosamund Marriott Watson b. 1860

The Farm on the Links

GRAY o’er the pallid links, haggard and forsaken,

Still the old roof-tree hangs rotting overhead,

Still the black windows stare sullenly to seaward,

Still the blank doorway gapes, open to the dead;

What is it cries with the crying of the curlews?

What comes apace on those fearful, stealthy feet,

Back from the chill sea-deeps, gliding o’er the sand-dunes,

Home to the old home, once again to meet?

What is to say as they gather round the hearth-stone,

Flameless and dull as the feuds and fears of old?

Laughing and fleering still, menacing and mocking,

Sadder than death itself, harsher than the cold.

Woe for the ruined hearth, black with dule and evil,

Woe for the wrong and the hate too deep to die!

Woe for the deeds of the dreary days past over,

Woe for the grief of the gloomy days gone by!

Where do they come from? furtive and despairing,

Where are they bound for? those that gather there,

Slow, with the sea-wind sobbing through the chambers,—

Soft, with the salt mist stealing up the stair?

Names that are nameless now, names of dread and loathing,

Banned and forbidden yet, dark with spot and stain:

Only the old house watches and remembers,

Only the old home welcomes them again.