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Ghost House
by Robert Frost
[from A Boy’s Will (1913)]


I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
     And left no trace but the cellar walls, 
     And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field; 
     The orchard tree has grown one copse 
     Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart 
     On that disused and forgotten road 
     That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about: 
     I hear him begin far enough away 
     Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are 
     Who share the unlit place with me– 
     Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad,
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad– 
     With none among them that ever sings, 
     And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had.


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