The House with Nobody In It by Joyce Kilmer

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track 
I go by a poor old farm-house with its shingles broken and black; 
I suppose I’ve passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute 
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it. 

I’ve never seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things; 
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings. 
I know that house isn’t haunted and I wish it were, I do, 
For it wouldn’t be so lonely if it had a ghost or two. 

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass, 
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass. 
It needs new paint and shingles and vines should be trimmed and tied, 
But what it needs most of all is some people living inside. 

If I had a bit of money and all my debts were paid, 
I’d put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade. 
I’d buy that place and fix it up the way that it used to be, 
And I’d find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free. 

Now a new home standing empty with staring window and door 
Looks idle perhaps and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store, 
But there’s nothing mournful about it, it cannot be sad and lone 
For the lack of something within it that it has never known. 

But a house that has done what a house should do, a house that has sheltered life, 
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife, 
A house that has echoed a baby’s laugh and helped up his stumbling feet, 
Is the saddest sight, when it’s left alone, that ever your eyes could meet. 

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track 
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back, 
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart, 
For I can’t help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.