Tennyson's Poems

The Deserted House

First printed in 1830, omitted in all the editions till 1848 when it was restored. The poem is of course allegorical, and is very much in the vein of many poems in Anglo-Saxon poetry.


Life and Thought have gone away

Side by side,

Leaving door and windows wide:

Careless tenants they!


All within is dark as night:

In the windows is no light;

And no murmur at the door,

So frequent on its hinge before.


Close the door, the shutters close,

Or thro' [1] the windows we shall see

The nakedness and vacancy

Of the dark deserted house.


Come away: no more of mirth

Is here or merry-making sound.

The house was builded of the earth,

And shall fall again to ground.


Come away: for Life and Thought

Here no longer dwell;

But in a city glorious--

A great and distant city--have bought

A mansion incorruptible.

Would they could have stayed with us!

[Footnote 1: 1848 and 1851. Through.]