IT should be yours, if I could build The quaint old dwelling I desire, With books and pictures bravely filled And chairs beside an open fire, White-panelled rooms with candles lit-- I lie awake to think of it! A dial for the sunny hours, A garden of old-fashioned flowers-- Say marigolds and lavender And mignonette and fever-few, And Judas-tree and maidenhair And candytuft and thyme and rue-- All these for you to wander in. A Chinese carp (called Mandarin) Waving a sluggish silver fin Deep in the moat: so tame he comes To lip your fingers offering crumbs. Tall chimneys, like long listening ears, White shutters, ivy green and thick, And walls of ruddy Tudor brick Grown mellow with the passing years. And windows with small leaded panes, Broad window-seats for when it rains; A big blue bowl of pot pourri And--yes, a Spanish chestnut tree To coin the autumn's minted gold. A summer house for drinking tea-- All these (just think!) for you and me. A staircase of the old black wood Cut in the days of Robin Hood, And banisters worn smooth as glass Down which your hand will lightly pass; A piano with pale yellow keys For wistful twilight melodies, And dusty bottles in a bin-- All these for you to revel in! But when? Ah well, until that time We'll habit in this house of rhyme.
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