Haddon Hall

Henry Glassford Bell

RUTLAND, Vernon, whatsoe’er

  The boasted rank, the lordly name,

All have melted into air,

  Ceased like an extinguished flame.


Solemn in the summer noon,

  Memory-ridden, hope-bereft,

Ghost-like ’neath the midnight moon

  By some trailing shadow cleft;


Vacant chamber of the dead,

  Through whose gloom fierce passions swept;

Mouldering couch whereon, ’t is said,

  The majesty of England slept;


Hall of wassail, which has rung

  To the unquestioned baron’s jest;

Dim old chapel, where were hung

  Offerings of the o’erfraught breast;


Moss-clad terrace, strangely still,

  Broken shaft, and crumbling frieze,

Still as lips that used to fill

  With bugle-blasts the morning breeze!


Careless river, gliding under,

  Ever gliding, lapsing on,

With no sense of awe or wonder

  At the ages which have gone;


Thou in thy unconscious flow

  Know’st not sorrows which destroy,

Yet this truth thou dost not know,—

  Sorrows give a zest to joy.


Every record of the past

  Makes the present more intense,

Love’s old temple overcast

  Wakes to love the living sense.


In the long-deserted hall,

  In dead beauty’s withered bower,

Closer clings the heart to all

  That makes glad the fleeting hour;—


Closer cling we unto those

  Who must leave us or be left;

Brighter in the sunset glows

  Life’s mysterious warp and weft.