"The Deserted House
" is a five-stanza
poem written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
, in 1830, and included in his collection Poems, Chiefly Lyrical
. The poem is characterised by its reliance on short lines which alternate in rhyme and meter to prevent a felicitous feel, a technique which has drawn much positive critical commentary. In the poem, Tennyson uses the image of a dark house as a metaphor for a dead body, underlining it with the closing stanza:
Come away: for Life and Thought
Here no longer dwell;
But in a city glorious—
A great and distant city—have bought
A mansion incorruptible.
Would they could have stayed with us!
This illustration by W. E. F. Britten, showing the eponymous house, accompanied the poem in a 1901 reprint.Illustration: W. E. F. Britten; restoration: Adam Cuerden