A poor old cottage tottering to it's fall,
Some faded rose-trees scattered o'er the wall;
Four wooden pillars all slant one way,
A plot in front, bright green amid decay,
Where my wee pets, when e'er they came to tea,
Laughed, danced and played, and shouted in high glee;
A rusty paling and a broken gate
Shut out the world and bounded my estate.
Dusty and damp within, and rather bare,
Chokeful of books, here, there and everywhere.
Old-fashioned windows, and old doors that creaked,
Old ceilings cracked and grey, old walls that leaked.
Old chairs and tables, and an ancient lady
Worked out in tapestry, all rather shady.
Bright pictures in gilt frames, the only colour,
Making the grimy papering look duller.
What was the charm, the glamour that o'erspread
That dingy house and made it dear? — the dead,
The dead, the gentle, loving, kind and sweet,
The truest, tenderest heart that ever beat;
While she was with me 'twas indeed a home
Where every friend was welcome, when they'd come;
Her soft eyes shone with gladness, and her grace
Refined and beautified the poor old place.
But she is gone who made home for me there,
Whose child-like laugh, whose light step on the stair
Filled me with joy and gladness, hope and cheer,
To heaven she soared, and left me lonely here —
The old house now has got a brand new face.
The roses are uprooted, there's no trace
Of broken laugh, or blossom — no decay —
The past is dead, the world wags on alway.
— Ellen O'Leary