The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series One

by Emily Dickinson

Life, Poem 15: The Lonely House

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1896
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Dickenson, E. (1896). The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series One.Boston, MA: Roberts Brothers.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.6
  • Word Count: 182
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, american literature, emily dickinson, poems, poetry, series 1
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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!