“—It is an evening tune;
One not designed to waste the noon,”
You say. I know: time bids me go—
For daytide passes too, too soon!
But let indulgence be,
This once, to my rash ecstasy:
When sounds nowhere that carolled air
My idled morn may comfort me!
“A MAN WAS DRAWING NEAR TO ME”
On that gray night of mournful drone,
A part from aught to hear, to see,
I dreamt not that from shires unknown
In gloom, alone,
A man was drawing near to me.
I’d no concern at anything,
No sense of coming pull-heart play;
Yet, under the silent outspreading
Of even’s wing
Where Otterham lay,
A man was riding up my way.
I thought of nobody—not of one,
But only of trifles—legends, ghosts—
Though, on the moorland dim and dun
That travellers shun
About these coasts,
The man had passed Tresparret Posts.
There was no light at all inland,
Only the seaward pharos-fire,
Nothing to let me understand
That hard at hand
By Hennett Byre
The man was getting nigh and nigher.
There was a rumble at the door,
A draught disturbed the drapery,
And but a minute passed before,
With gaze that bore
The man revealed himself to me.
“I hear the piano playing—
Just as a ghost might play.”
“—O, but what are you saying?
There’s no piano to-day;
Their old one was sold and broken;
Years past it went amiss.”
“—I heard it, or shouldn’t have spoken:
A strange house, this!
“I catch some undertone here,
From some one out of sight.”
“—Impossible; we are alone here,
And shall be through the night.”
“—The parlour-door—what stirred it?”
“—No one: no soul’s in range.”
“—But, anyhow, I heard it,
And it seems strange!
“Seek my own room I cannot—
A figure is on the stair!”
“—What figure? Nay, I scan not
Any one lingering there.
A bough outside is waving,
And that’s its shade by the moon.”
“—Well, all is strange! I am craving
Strength to leave soon.”
“—Ah, maybe you’ve some vision
Of showings beyond our sphere;
Some sight, sense, intuition
Of what once happened here?
The house is old; they’ve hinted
It once held two love-thralls,
And they may have imprinted
Their dreams on its walls?
“They were—I think ’twas told
Queer in their works and ways;
The teller would often hold me
With weird tales of those days.
Some folk can not abide here,
But we—we do not care
Who loved, laughed, wept, or died here,
Knew joy, or despair.”