Stops of Various Quills/The Bewildered Guest

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The Bewildered Guest by William Dean Howells
illustrations by Howard Pyle

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 009 large a.jpg


I WAS not asked if I should like to come. 
 I have not seen my host here since I came,
 Or had a word of welcome in his name.
Some say that we shall never see him, and some
That we shall see him elsewhere, and then know
 Why we were bid. How long I am to stay
 I have not the least notion. None, they say,
Was ever told when he should come or go.
But every now and then there bursts upon
 The song and mirth a lamentable noise,
 A sound of shrieks and sobs, that strikes our joys
Dumb in our breasts; and then, some one is gone.
They say we meet him. None knows where or when.
We know we shall not meet him here again.

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 009 large c.jpg