Introspection By Harold Monro


THAT house across the road is full of ghosts.
The windows, all inquisitive, look inward.
All are shut.
I’ve never seen a body in the house.
Have you? Have you?
Yet feet go sounding in the corridors,
And up and down, and up and down the stairs,
All day, all night, all day.

When will the show begin?
When will the host be in?
What is the preparation for?
When will he open the bolted door?
When will the minutes move smoothly along in their hours?
Time, answer!

(Can you see a feverish face
Pressing at the window-pane?)

The air must be hot: how hot inside.
If only somebody could go
And snap the windows open wide,
And keep them so!

All the back rooms are very large, and there
(So it is said)
They sit before their open books and stare.
Or one will rise and sadly shake his head,
Another will comb out her languid hair;
While some will move untiringly about
Through all the rooms, for ever in and out,
Or up and down the stair;

Or gaze into the desolate back-garden
And talk about the rain,
Then drift back from the window to the table,
Folding long hands, to sit and think again.

They can never meet like homely people
Round a fireside
After daily work….
Always busy with procrastination,
Backward and forward they move in the house,
Full of their questions
No one can answer.
Nothing will happen…. Nothing will happen….


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