Cicely Fox Smith
The House-Hunter - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith
I have been looking at a hovel
At the back o’ behind;
It was like something out of a Welsh novel
Of the grimly realistic kind.
It clung to a mountain-side sternly and sadly
As a fly clings to the wall,
It had a tin shed or two, and the roof leaked badly,
And there was no road at all.
I have been looking at a pig-sty
(Though they didn’t call it so),
it wasn’t a very nice or a very big sty
even as sties go;
its walls were as wet as the inside of a cistern,
I nearly broke my neck in the “grounds,”
There was a rat-hole in the dinning room floor you could put your feet in,
And the price was fifteen hundred pounds.
I have been looking at a shanty
At the end of a long lane;
There wasn’t a bath, and anyway the water was scanty,
It depended entirely on the rain;
The chimney smoked like the dickens when it was gusty,
You couldn’t swing the smallest size of cat;
There was nowhere to keep the coals and kitchen stove was rusty,
And they wanted two thousand for that.
* * * * * * *
I have looked at very many hovels,
I have seen pig-sties galore;
I have looked at them until my spirit grovels
And my heart is sick and sore;
I cannot find a decent roof to cover me,
Be it large or be it small;
I will sit down in a ditch with an umbrella over me
And live nowhere at all.
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