Rooms to let, furnished

A hearth with seasoned oak and tinder laid
awaits a spark to set the fuel ablaze,
and on the mantel, blooms that never fade
   defy the count of days. 
A royal feast sits covered on the board,
rare vintages in faithful bottles stand,
and silver plate and napery lie in hoard,
   untouched by living hand.

There is no key to pass these lockless doors
flung open in an empty-armed embrace,
no footprint to disturb the dusty floors
   of this forgotten place.
No lover comes to warm the bridal bed,
or disarray the downy counterpane,
or scent the scarlet petals that are spread
   in welcome and in vain.

No memory can tell what vanished host
prepared these rooms for what forgetful guest;
no spell can lay the long-forsaken ghost,
   or ease it to its rest.
In longing without hope it dwells apart,
haunting this too untenanted address,
as vacant as the mansions of my heart
   still kept in readiness.

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