To a Great Lady in My Small House

You were too kind to come at all. 
The door closed on you, and my hall
Shivered in sudden naked shame. 
I whispered it was not to blame
And followed you within, to where
You were awaited by my chair. 
It was so small, and you sat down
With a so gracious smile—a frown
Would have gone better with that wall;
You were too kind to smile at all. 
You stretched a hand toward the grate;
Its welcome was inadequate.
You looked about you and pretended
The carpet and the picture blended. 
I looked—and all my furnishings
Had turned their heads: the sorry things!
You said you felt at home—a lie
My misery was finished by.
Even your guilelessness was gall. 
You were too kind to come at all.

This poem is in the public domain.