Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Trees
By Eloise Robinson
 
THE HOUSE is haunted by old trees.
  So close they stand, and still,
No yellow sunlight seeps through their shingled leaves
  And drips down on the sill.
Beech with the mist on his flanks,        5
  Pine whose old voice is a muffled bell,
Gaunt, wan-bodied poplar
  That has a bitter smell,
Tapping elm and oak-tree—
  They stoop and peer within        10
By the side of the twisted apple-tree,
  His grey hands under his chin.
They do nothing but peer and haunt through the windows
  That are dead as the eyes of the drowned;
And listen until their silence        15
  Makes a strangeness all around.
Then suddenly they quiver and shake at the wind
  Their arms that are furrowed as river sands,
And whisper “Did you see?” to one another
  And beckon to one another with their hands;        20
And they laugh a hungry laughter
  There is no one understands.
 
By night they creep close to the windows,
  As quiet as grey lichens creep,
And pick at the catches with their fingers—        25
  How they can get in, and peep
To see their own shadows thronging
  The quiet house of sleep.
Yes, they look in at their own shadows
  Stealing up by the stair        30
To the closed doors of the chambers
  And listening there.
They watch how their shadows with pulseless fingers
  Noiselessly push and strain,
And beat their breasts on the dark panels        35
  To open them, in vain;
And how the thin moonlight trickles round them
  Creeping down by the banisters again.
 
 
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