What can this be here in this dusty loft,
What the light finds when I unclose the door;
This frame, this mould’ring loom all covered o’er
With ceiling plaster and with cobwebs soft?
It is a bed, a gift from generous host;
A wooden bed, deep-stained with age’s filth;
A pallet with its straw reduced to tilth;
A couch to rest the bones of weary ghost.
Bed, symbol of all ease and luxury,
Did comfort for the outcast in thee dwell?
What heartaches could thy shrivelled pillow tell
If but the power of speech were given thee.
What rest for fainting limbs, what balm for feet,
Was found in thee by some poor wand’ring wight !
It may be in thine arms a soul found flight,
And some unwanted vagrant found death sweet.
Mona’s Herald 16.4.63