Published on Academy of American Poets (

Aunt Helen

Miss Helen Slingsby was my maiden aunt,	
And lived in a small house near a fashionable square	
Cared for by servants to the number of four.	
Now when she died there was silence in heaven	
And silence at her end of the street.
The shutters were drawn and the undertaker wiped his feet—	
He was aware that this sort of thing had occurred before.	
The dogs were handsomely provided for,	
But shortly afterwards the parrot died too.	
The Dresden clock continued ticking on the mantelpiece,
And the footman sat upon the dining-table	
Holding the second housemaid on his knees—	
Who had always been so careful while her mistress lived.


This poem is in the public domain.


T. S. Eliot

Born in Missouri on September 26, 1888, T. S. Eliot is the author of The Waste Land, which is now considered by many to be the most influential poetic work of the twentieth century.

Date Published: 1915-01-01

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