[Skip Navigation]

Plagiarist Poetry Sites: Plagiarist.com | Poetry X | Poetry Discussion Forums | Open Poetry Project | Joycean.org
Enter our Poetry Contest
Win Cash and Publication!

Plagiarist.com Archive

Read more poems by Conrad Aiken: Conrad Aiken Poems at Poetry X.

More poems by Conrad AikenConrad Aiken | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Conrad AikenBooks by Conrad Aiken

The House Of Dust: Part 03: 03: Haunted Chambers

Conrad Aiken

The lamplit page is turned, the dream forgotten;
The music changes tone, you wake, remember
Deep worlds you lived before,—deep worlds hereafter
Of leaf on falling leaf, music on music,
Rain and sorrow and wind and dust and laughter.

Helen was late and Miriam came too soon.
Joseph was dead, his wife and children starving.
Elaine was married and soon to have a child.
You dreamed last night of fiddler-crabs with fiddles;
They played a buzzing melody, and you smiled.

To-morrow—what?  And what of yesterday?
Through soundless labyrinths of dream you pass,
Through many doors to the one door of all.
Soon as it's opened we shall hear a music:
Or see a skeleton fall . . .

We walk with you.  Where is it that you lead us?
We climb the muffled stairs beneath high lanterns.
We descend again.  We grope through darkened cells.
You say: this darkness, here, will slowly kill me.
It creeps and weighs upon me . . . Is full of bells.

This is the thing remembered I would forget—
No matter where I go, how soft I tread,
This windy gesture menaces me with death.
Fatigue! it says, and points its finger at me;
Touches my throat and stops my breath.

My fans—my jewels—the portrait of my husband—
The torn certificate for my daughter's grave—
These are but mortal seconds in immortal time.
They brush me, fade away: like drops of water.
They signify no crime.

Let us retrace our steps: I have deceived you:
Nothing is here I could not frankly tell you:
No hint of guilt, or faithlessness, or threat.
Dreams—they are madness.  Staring eyes—illusion.
Let us return, hear music, and forget . . .

Added: 12 Aug 2002 | Last Read: 23 Apr 2018 9:41 AM | Viewed: 3544 times

A PoetryNotes™ Analysis of The House Of Dust: Part 03: 03: Haunted Chambers by Conrad Aiken, is Available!

A PoetryNotes™ eBook is available for this poem for delivery within 24 hours, and usually available within minutes during normal business hours.

ON SALE - only $29.95 19.95!

For more information...


URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/5758/ | Viewed on 23 April 2018.
Copyright ©2018 Plagiarist - All rights reserved.