Emily Dickinson

Dec. 10, 1830 - May 15, 1886


The Lonely House

by Emily Dickinson

I know some lonely houses off the road
A robber'd like the look of. --
Wooden barred,
And windows hanging low,
Inviting to
A portico,
Where two could creep:
One hand the tools,
The other peep
To make sure all's asleep.
Old-fashioned eyes,
Not easy to surprise!

How orderly the kitchen'd look by night,
With just a clock, - --
But they could gag the tick,
And mice won't bark;
And so the walls don't tell,
None will.

A pair of spectacles ajar just stir --
An almanac's aware
Was it the mat winked,
Or a nervous star?
The moon slides down the stair
To see who's there.

There's plunder, -- where?
Tankard, or spoon,
Earring, or stone,
A watch, some ancient brooch
To match the grandmamma,
Staid sleeping there.

Day rattles, too,
Stealth's slow;
The sun has got as far
As the third sycamore.
Screams chanticleer,
Who's there?
And echoes, trains away,
Sneer -- Where?
While the old couple, just astir,
Fancy the sunrise left the door ajar!


Copyright 1890
Little, Brown, And Company, Boston