The Haunted House (Brown)

UPON a little rise it stands alone,
  Dark and forbidding, where three cross-roads meet,—
  Its dim, fierce windows frowning on the street,
The time-stained walls with moss and mould o'ergrown.

Pink hollyhocks group idly at the door,
  And bend to pierce the oak with prying eyes,
  Or shake their heads and whisper, gossip-wise,
The long-dead secrets of those days of yore.

The jealous door seems warning me away;
  The grating hinges shudder as it swings;
  Across my face dim shadows sweep their wings;
And round me heavy cobwebs swing and sway.

There is a window looking to the sea;
  The small square panes are blurred as if with tears.
  Here years ago a young bride felt those fears
Which even now thrill coldly over me.

Here trembling still she sat, yet made no moan,
  But felt an unseen shadow fill the door,
  ANd heard a light step steal across the floor,—
And shrank beneath a touch which chilled her own.

Once more I pass the hall, the dim oak stair.
  A sudden gust breathes down, a trembling sigh;
  A silken rustle lightly whispers by;
The fragrance of dried rose-leaves fills the air.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.


The author died in 1927, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.