BY the City Dead-House, by the gate,
As idly sauntering, wending my way from the clangor,
I curious pausefor lo! an outcast form, a poor dead prostitute brought;
Her corpse they deposit unclaimdit lies on the damp brick pavement;
The divine woman, her bodyI see the BodyI look on it alone,
That house once full of passion and beautyall else I notice not;
Nor stillness so cold, nor running water from faucet, nor odors morbific impress me;
But the house alonethat wondrous housethat delicate fair housethat ruin!
That immortal house, more than all the rows of dwellings ever built!
Or white-domed Capitol itself, with majestic figure surmountedor all the old
That little house alone, more than them allpoor, desperate house!
Fair, fearful wreck! tenement of a Soul! itself a Soul!
Unclaimd, avoided house! take one breath from my tremulous lips;
Take one tear, dropt aside as I go, for thought of you,
Dead house of love! house of madness and sin, crumbled! crushd!
House of lifeerewhile talking and laughingbut ah, poor house! dead, even then;
Months, years, an echoing, garnishd housebut dead, dead, dead.