Coming Home

By Ellen P. Allerton

Home to my mother’s door. Push back the lock,
She will not open it—no use to knock.
A weight is on my breast; oh! never yet
Daughter at mother’s door such welcome met!
No kiss upon my lips; no word, no sound,
No loving arms reach out to clasp me round,
I cross the threshold to a solemn room,
Peopled with shadows, silent as the tomb.
The heavy air is chill—no fire, no light;
Only pale sunshine, streaming thin and white
Through the bare panes upon the naked floor.
I shrink and shiver—do not shut the door!
Tread lightly on the creaking boards, speak low;
Start not the hollow echoes; well I know
They sleep in every corner. Do not call,
Lest they should answer loudly, one and all.
Her voice is still. ‘Twas here I heard it last—
Here by the door. The tears fell thick and fast
From both our eyes; to-day the drops run o’er
From only mine; and she—she weeps no more.
This was her bed-room; it was here, you say,
She laid in silence all that summer day,
With roses (how she loved them!) at her head,
Wreathed on the wall and strewn upon her bed.
Now she lies yonder, and a sombre pall
The dead leaves weave above her as they fall;
The rains that beat, the autumn Winds that blow,
Are making ready heavy shrouds of snow.
Whatever covers her, she still sleeps well;
But oh! these silent rooms! I can not tell
Why their cold emptiness should move me so;
I can not bear it longer—let us go.

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