Ghost House

I Dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
     And left no trace but the cellar walls,
     And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.
O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
     The orchard tree has grown one copse
     Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.
I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
     On that disused and forgotten road
     That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;
The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
     I hear him begin far enough away
     Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.
It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
     Who share the unlit place with me—
     Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.
They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,—
     With none among them that ever sings,
     And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.
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