Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
 
A Deserted Mansion
By Joseph Hall (1574–1656)
 
[From Book v. Sat. 2.]

BEAT the broad gates, a goodly hollow sound
With double echoes doth again rebound;
But not a dog doth bark to welcome thee,
Nor churlish porter canst thou chafing see;
All dumb and silent, like the dead of night,        5
Or dwelling of some sleepy Sybarite.
The marble pavement hid with desert weed,
With houseleek, thistle, dock, and hemlock seed:
But if thou chance cast up thy wondering eyes,
Thou shalt discern upon the frontispiece        10
[Greek] 1 graven up on high,
A fragment of old Plato’s poesy:
The meaning is, ‘Sir Fool, ye may be gone,
Go back by leave, for way here lieth none.’
Look to the towered chimneys, which should be        15
The windpipes of good hospitality,
Through which it breatheth to the open air,
Betokening life, and liberal welfare;
Lo there the unthankful swallow takes her rest,
And fills the tunnel with her circled nest;        20
Nor half that smoke from all his chimneys goes
Which one tobacco pipe drives through his nose.
So rawbone hunger scorns the mudded walls,
And ’gins to revel it in lordly halls.
 
Note 1. ‘Let no man enter.’ [back]
 
 
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