Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

By Henry Glassford Bell (1803–1874)

RUTLAND, Vernon, whatsoe’er

The boasted rank, the lordly name,

All have melted into air,

Ceased like an extinguished flame.

Solemn in the summer noon,

Memory-ridden, hope-bereft,

Ghost-like ’neath the midnight moon

By some trailing shadow cleft;

Vacant chamber of the dead,

Through whose gloom fierce passions swept;

Mouldering couch whereon, ’t is said,

The majesty of England slept;

Hall of wassail, which has rung

To the unquestioned baron’s jest;

Dim old chapel, where were hung

Offerings of the o’erfraught breast;

Moss-clad terrace, strangely still,

Broken shaft, and crumbling frieze,

Still as lips that used to fill

With bugle-blasts the morning breeze!

Careless river, gliding under,

Ever gliding, lapsing on,

With no sense of awe or wonder

At the ages which have gone;

Thou in thy unconscious flow

Know’st not sorrows which destroy,

Yet this truth thou dost not know,—

Sorrows give a zest to joy.

Every record of the past

Makes the present more intense,

Love’s old temple overcast

Wakes to love the living sense.

In the long-deserted hall,

In dead beauty’s withered bower,

Closer clings the heart to all

That makes glad the fleeting hour;—

Closer cling we unto those

Who must leave us or be left;

Brighter in the sunset glows

Life’s mysterious warp and weft.