Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SOMETHING, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

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SOMETHING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sitting by the glimmer
Last Line: Something after all.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Fireplaces; Shadows; Soul

SITTING by the glimmer
Of the fire to-night,
Though the glowing embers
Sparkle with delight --
There's a sense of something,
Vaguely understood,
Stealing o'er the spirit
As a shadow would.

Is it that the shutter
Shudders in the wind
As a lance of moonshine
Shivers through the blind?
Or the lamplight dancing
In pretended glee
As the keynote whistles
In a minor key?

Footsteps on the sidewalk,
Crunching through the snow,
Seem to whisper something
Of the long ago --
And the merry greetings
Of the passers-by
Seem like truant echoes
Coming home to die.

I have coaxed my pencil
For a smiling face,
But the sketch is frowning
And devoid of grace;
And the airy waltzes
Of my violin
Die away in dirges
Ere I well begin.

Lay away the story --
Though the theme is sweet --
There's a lack of something
Makes it incomplete;
There's a nameless yearning --
Strangely undefined --
For a something better
Than the common kind.

Something! Oh, that something!
We may never know
Why the soul is haunted
Ever thus and so,
Till the longing spirit
Answers to the call
Of the trumpet sounding
Something after all.

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