Inside-Outside (suggested by a painting)

Far in the darkened cavern of a room
A man sits reading in a shaft of light
Flung through the window as the dawn through night.
All around is age and dust and gloom,
And yet he sits there giving of his sight
To pages bearing paragraphs so bright
That unknown joying shines upon his face,
For all his thoughts are in a happy place
(The things around us may be full of woe,
But deepest thought is our glad overflow).
Then suddenly he gazes out the glass;
He hears sweet children’s voices as they pass,
And one, the loudest, does recite a poem
Of lone man reading in his hallowed home!

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