Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN THIS DARK HOUSE, by EDWARD DAVISON



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IN THIS DARK HOUSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I shall come back to die
Last Line: To this dark house to die.
Subject(s): Houses


I SHALL come back to die
From a far place at last
After my life's carouse
In the old bed to lie,
Remembering the past
In this dark house.

Because of a clock's chime
In the long waste of night
I shall awake and wait
At that calm lonely time
Each smell and sound and sight
Mysterious and innate:
Some shadow on the wall
When curtains by the door
Move in a draught of wind;
Or else a light footfall
In a near corridor;
Even to feel the kind
Caress of a cool hand
Smoothing the draggled hair
Back from my shrunken brow,
And strive to understand
The woman's presence there,
And whence she came, and how.

What gust of wind that night
Shall mutter her lost name
Through windows open wide,
And twist the flickering light
Of a sole candle's flame
Smoking from side to side,
Till the last spark it blows
Sets a moth's wings aflare
As the faint flame goes out?

Some distant door may close;
Perhaps a heavy chair
On bare floors dragged about
O'er the low ceiling sound,
And the thin twig of a tree
Knock on my window-pane
Till all the night around
Is listening with me,
While like a noise of rain
Leaves rustle in the wind.

Then from the inner gloom
The scratching of a mouse
May echo down my mind
And sound around the room
In this dark house.

The vague scent of a flower,
Smelt then in that warm air
From gardens drifting in,
May slowly overpower
The vapid lavender,
Till feebly I begin
To count the scents I knew
And name them one by one
And search the names for this.

Dreams will be swift and few
Ere that last night be done,
And gradual silences
In each long interim
Of halting time awake
Confuse all conscious sense.
Shadows will grow more dim,
And sound and scent forsake
The dark ere dawn commence.

In the new morning then,
So fixed the stare and fast,
The calm unseeing eye
Will never close again.

I shall come back at last
To this dark house to die.





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