First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Two Houses


Between a sunny bank and the sun The farmhouse smiles On the riverside plat: No other one So pleasant to look at And remember, for many miles, So velvet-hushed and cool under the warm tiles.

Not far from the road it lies, yet caught Far out of reach Of the road's dust And the dusty thought Of passers-by, though each Stops, and turns, and must Look down at it like a wasp at the muslined peach.

But another house stood there long before: And as if above graves Still the turf heaves Above its stones: Dark hangs the sycamore, Shadowing kennel and bones And the black dog that shakes his chain and moans.

And when he barks, over the river Flashing fast, Dark echoes reply, And the hollow past Half yields the dead that never More than half hidden lie: And out they creep and back again for ever.

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