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The Deserted House

"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 titular house, accompanied the poem in a 1901 reprint.

Illustration: W. E. F. Britten; restoration: Adam Cuerden

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