The Father

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

There is a hall in every house,
Behind whose wainscot gnaws the mouse;
Along whose sides are empty rooms,
Peopled with dreams and ancient dooms.
When down this hall you take your light,
And face, alone, the hollow night,
Be like the child who goes to bed,
Though faltering and half adread
Of something crouching crookedly
In every corner he can see,
Ready to snatch him into gloom,
Yet goes on bravely to his room,
Knowing, above him, watching there,
His father waits upon the stair.

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