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Of their love's first stolen gaze;
Or some sad soul, looking in,
Calls back hours of blight or sin,
Glad if her mute life may share
In the sheltering silence there.
Oh, what cheeks might blanch with fears,
Had walls tongues, as they have ears!
Silent house with close-locked doors,
Ghosts and memories haunt thy floors!
Not a web of circumstance
Woven here into romance
E'er can perish; many a thread
Must survive when thou art dead.
Children's children shall not know
How their doom of joy or woe
Was determined ere their birth,
'Neath this roof that droops to earth,
By some love-tie here create,
Or hereditary hate,
Or some glance whose bliss or strife
Was the climax of a life,
Though its last dumb witness falls
With the crumbling of these walls.
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