Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
A Quiet House
By Mary Ainge De Vere (Madeline Bridges)
MY house is quiet now—so still!
All day I hear the ticking clock;
The hours are numbered; clear and shrill
Outside the robins chirp and trill:
My house is quiet now—so still!        5
But silence breaks my heart. I wait,
And waiting yearn for call or knock,
To hear the creaking of the gate
And footsteps coming, soon or late:
The silence breaks my heart. I wait.        10
All through the empty house I go,
From hall to hall, from room to room;
The heavy shadows spread and grow,
The startled echoes mock me so,
As through the empty house I go.        15
Ah, silent house! If I could hear
Sweet noises in the tranquil gloom,
The joyous tumult, loud and near,
That vexed me many a happy year,—
Ah, silent house, if I could hear!        20
Ah, lonely house! If once, once more,
My longing eyes might see the stain
Of little foot-prints on the floor—
The sweet child-faces at the door—
Ah, blessed Heaven, but once, once more!        25
My house and home are very still.
I watch the sunshine and the rain:
The years go on … Perhaps Death will
Life’s broken promises fulfil.
My house, my home, my heart, are still!        30

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