Christopher Morley (5 May 1890 – 28 March 1957 / Haverford, Pennslyvania)
IT should be yours, if I could build
The quaint old dwelling I desire,
With books and pictures bravely filled
And chairs beside an open fire,
White-panelled rooms with candles lit-
I lie awake to think of it!
A dial for the sunny hours,
A garden of old-fashioned flowers-
Say marigolds and lavender
And mignonette and fever-few,
And Judas-tree and maidenhair
And candytuft and thyme and rue-
All these for you to wander in.
A Chinese carp (called Mandarin)
Waving a sluggish silver fin
Deep in the moat: so tame he comes
To lip your fingers offering crumbs.
Tall chimneys, like long listening ears,
White shutters, ivy green and thick,
And walls of ruddy Tudor brick
Grown mellow with the passing years.
And windows with small leaded panes,
Broad window-seats for when it rains;
A big blue bowl of pot pourri
And-yes, a Spanish chestnut tree
To coin the autumn's minted gold.
A summer house for drinking tea-
All these (just think!) for you and me.
A staircase of the old black wood
Cut in the days of Robin Hood,
And banisters worn smooth as glass
Down which your hand will lightly pass;
A piano with pale yellow keys
For wistful twilight melodies,
And dusty bottles in a bin-
All these for you to revel in!
But when? Ah well, until that time
We'll habit in this house of rhyme.
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