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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Thomas Hardy's Max Gate, 1927: The Light from the Window, A Winter Night's Impression, Donald Maxwell

The Strange House
(MAX GATE, A.D. 2000)

"I hear the piano playing--
Just as a ghost might play."
"--O, but what are you saying?
There's no piano to-day;
Their old one was sold and broken;
Years past it went amiss."
"--I heard it, or shouldn't have spoken:
A strange house, this!

"I catch some undertone here,
From some one out of sight."
"--Impossible; we are alone here,
And shall be through the night."
"--The parlour-door--what stirred it?"
"--No one: no soul's in range."
"--But, anyhow, I heard it,
And it seems strange!

"Seek my own room I cannot--
A figure is on the stair!"
"--What figure? Nay, I scan not
Any one lingering there.
A bough outside is waving,
And that's its shade by the moon."
"--Well, all is strange! I am craving
Strength to leave soon."

"--Ah, maybe you've some vision
Of showings beyond our sphere;
Some sight, sense, intuition
Of what once happened here?
The house is old; they've hinted
It once held two love-thralls,
And they may have imprinted
Their dreams on its walls?

"They were--I think 'twas told me--
Queer in their works and ways;
The teller would often hold me
With weird tales of those days.
Some folk can not abide here,
But we--we do not care
Who loved, laughed, wept, or died here,
Knew joy, or despair."

Thomas Hardy

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