A large bare room upon whose curdled walls,
Lined at the base with tiles of white and blue,
Hang three small sombre paintings in a row—
A plate of grapes, a haunch of venison
(If one were hungry one could feed on them,
With such precision is each detail shown)
And a girl's head—placid and plain and kind.
From the half-shuttered windows spills the sun
In pools upon the tessellated floor
And then shines back reflected in the mirror
That hangs between the windows—treasured light,
But not too much of it at once! A glass,
Long, tapering to the stem, with Rhenish wine
Glowing dull gold, stands on the heavy table,
Speaking of sober jovialities.
But rather 'tis the silence that speaks here,
Silence grown audible so deep it is,
So full of meaning to the quiet heart.
Here, the long morning's work being done, will sit
The woman (once the young girl of the picture)
Who keeps this house so tidy and so clean:
A comfortable woman, done with dreams
If ever she had any, with her hands
Plumply folded together on her lap.
And she has seen the sun a thousand times
Spill just like this, a pool upon the floor,
But has not tired of it nor ever will.