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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The House of Death

By Louise Chandler Moulton (1835–1908)

NOT a hand has lifted the latchet

Since she went out of the door,—

No footstep shall cross the threshold,

Since she can come in no more.

There is rust upon locks and hinges,

And mould and blight on the walls,

And silence faints in the chambers,

And darkness waits in the halls,—

Waits as all things have waited

Since she went, that day of spring,

Borne in her pallid splendor,

To dwell in the Court of the King:

With lilies on brow and bosom,

With robes of silken sheen,

And her wonderful frozen beauty

The lilies and silk between.

Red roses she left behind her,

But they died long, long ago,—

’Twas the odorous ghost of a blossom

That seemed through the dusk to glow.

The garments she left mock the shadows

With hints of womanly grace,

And her image swims in the mirror

That was so used to her face.

The birds make insolent music

Where the sunshine riots outside;

And the winds are merry and wanton,

With the summer’s pomp and pride.

But into this desolate mansion,

Where Love has closed the door,

Nor sunshine nor summer shall enter,

Since she can come in no more.