This ruined house stands doorless and open now
Silent and abandoned. Black mould stains on
Tall walls thick with ivy. It’s broken roof
Hangs wide and ragged, barking at the sky.
Such a grand house in its day. The pride of
A whole county. A place of revelry
And warm welcomes. Of wine and candlelight
Golden threaded ballgowns and midnight masques.
The marble-staircased heart of a small world
Now weatherbroken and bowed down
The transitoriness of all things writ clear
In spoiled plaster, grey stone and wet oak.
From the twilight sneers an unpleasant drawl
It’s whisper shocking in the sombre gloom
Harsh and oppressive and close in your ear
Repeating and repeating
“Food for worms, dead and rotten.
Food for worms. God over all.”
Sir Dominick’s Bargain, 14 poems by Rufus Woodward based on the story by Sheridan Le Fanu. Now available.