They did not appear to wish to intrude;
They did not attempt to frighten me now;
They did not push by me; they were not rude;—
But somehow they enter’d—I know not how.
’It’s no use trying to ’ide
‘im, my dear,’
Said one, in a really fatherly way;
’In course we knows that the gen’leman’s ’ere;
And till he turns up we shall ‘ave to stay.’
’The gentleman’s here? but
no one has come;
And no one can come—it is much too late.
Mr. Vane is out—he will soon be home;
But I really must ask you not to wait.’
The man laid a finger against his nose;
With a horrible slyness look’d at me:
’We understands all that ’ere, I suppose;
But you’d better come to terms,’ said he.
I stared at the man with my vacant eyes,
That dreamily question’d him how he dared?
And suddenly saw, with extreme surprise,
It was a policeman at whom I stared.
The five of us stood in the pleasant hall;
And four were policemen, and one was I;
And Harry had never come home at all;
And the clock struck one with a gasping sigh.
My heart grew cold, and my courage ran
I pinch’d my finger—I tried not to scream—
I felt like a creature about to drown,
And I cried aloud ‘It MUST be a dream!’
I angrily spoke,—and I spoke out loud;
I knew ’twas a dream and nothing in it;
I spurn’d the dream with a gesture proud,
And ORDERED myself to wake that minute.
Of course, I just fell asleep where I
And this is a dream—yes I know it is—
But O it is stranger than dreaming, that
Harry has not waken’d me with a kiss!
I looked at the men, who are searching
And taking a note of all they can find;
Examining ceiling and walls and ground,—
—I am surely going out of my mind!
I said to myself in a coaxing way—
’I am wide awake, and he has come back;
Harry is acting a sort of a play:
He has dress’d himself up, and so has Jack.’
A glance or a signal dispers’d the
Two went upstairs, and another below;
The leader sat down in the hall; and then—
What am I to do? Where am I to go?
I rush’d to the door, and I flung
A frighten’d creature can anything dare—
And I saw the darkness that lay outside,
And I heard the silence—and nothing was there.
‘Harry! Harry! Harry!’
was all my cry,
As I stood alone at the open door;
And the night heard me—and so did the sky,
And the wind and the earth—and nothing more.
I turn’d from the door with a sad
I could call for my love and call in vain;
And I met that horrid policeman’s eyes,
Keenly and quietly watching my pain.