by Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928)

Starlings on the roof
Language: English 
"No smoke spreads out of this chimney-pot,
The people who lived here have left the spot,
And others are coming who knew them not.

If you listen anon, with an ear intent,
The voices, you'll find, will be different
From the well-known ones of those who went."

"Why did they go? Their tones so bland
Were quite familiar to our band;
The comers we shall not understand."

"They look for a new life, rich and strange;
They do not know that, let them range
Wherever they may, they will get no change.

"They will drag their house-gear ever so far
In their search for a home no miseries mar;
They will find that as they were they are,

"That every hearth has a ghost, alack,
And can be but the scene of a bivouac
Till they move perforce--no time to pack!"

First published in Nation October 1913, revised 1914

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-01-19
Line count: 18
Word count: 141