When you live alone, how you hear each sound !1
Should a mouse but scuttle along the ground,2
And a loose board creak :  There !  was it a mouse ?3
Or a ghost’s step through the house ?4
Strange !  What fancies come in a crowd,5
When your fire burns fast and your clock ticks loud !6
Outside, there’s a sudden lull in the rain,7
And—— Who tapped on the window-pane ?8
Only a wind-blown jasmine spray ;9
I saw it hung loosened yesterday.10
But it’s odd—it’s odd—how the fancy lingers11
It seemed like a dead man’s fingers !12
Dead !  Yes, dead. Oh, more than a year ;13
And what should a dead man do down here,14
Tapping like that on my window-pane ?15
Pshaw !  The freak of a foolish brain !16
But the wind !  the wind !  Like a soul bereft17
Of reason, hopelessly lost and left,18
It wails and moans. Ah !  years ago19
A voice that I loved moaned so.20
Where was that tragic echo caught ?21
What ails the night ?  Or am I distraught ?22
Should I bear the sight, if I saw appear——23
There are steps—hark !— drawing near.24
Steps indeed. Ah !  but voices too :25
‛ Emily, Fred—this is good of you !26
Quick !  come in from the wind and the rain :’27
Thank God !  I’m alive again.28