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 Villa Pauline
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Villa Pauline
by Katherine Mansfield

But, ah! before he came
You were only a name:
Four little rooms and a cupboard
Without a bone,
And I was alone!
Now with your windows wide
Everything from outside
Of sun and flower and loveliness
Comes in to hide,
To play, to laugh on the stairs,
To catch unawares
Our childish happiness,
And to glide
Through the four little rooms on tip-toe
With lifted finger,
Pretending we shall not know When the shutters are shut
That they still linger
Long, long after.
Lying close in the dark
He says to me: "Hark,
Isn't that laughter?"