Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
707. Vision
 
By William Dean Howells
 
 
WITHIN a poor man’s squalid home I stood:
The one bare chamber, where his work-worn wife
Above the stove and wash-tub passed her life,
Next the sty where they slept with all their brood.
But I saw not that sunless, breathless lair,        5
The chamber’s sagging roof and reeking floor;
The smeared walls, broken sash, and battered door;
The foulness and forlornness everywhere.
I saw a great house with the portals wide
Upon a banquet room, and, from without,        10
The guests descending in a brilliant line
By the stair’s statued niches, and beside
The loveliest of the gemmed and silken rout
The poor man’s landlord leading down to dine.
 

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