Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PHANTOM, by BAYARD TAYLOR

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE PHANTOM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Again I sit within the mansion
Last Line: Yet never passes o'er.
Alternate Author Name(s): Taylor, James Bayard

AGAIN I sit within the mansion,
In the old, familiar seat;
And shade and sunshine chase each other
O'er the carpet at my feet.

But the sweet-brier's arms have wrestled upwards
In the summers that are past,
And the willow trails its branches lower
Than when I saw them last.

They strive to shut the sunshine wholly
From out the haunted room;
To fill the house, that once was joyful,
With silence and with gloom.

And many kind, remembered faces
Within the doorway come, --
Voices, that wake the sweeter music
Of one that now is dumb.

They sing, in tones as glad as ever,
The songs she loved to hear;
They braid the rose in summer garlands
Whose flowers to her were dear.

And still, her footsteps in the passage,
Her blushes at the door,
Her timid words of maiden welcome,
Come back to me once more.

And, all forgetful of my sorrow,
Unmindful of my pain,
I think she has but newly left me,
And soon will come again.

She stays without, perchance, a moment
To dress her dark-brown hair;
I hear the rustle of her garments, --
Her light step on the stair!

O fluttering heart! control thy tumult,
Lest eyes profane should see
My cheeks betray the rush of rapture
Her coming brings to me!

She tarries long: but lo! a whisper
Beyond the open door,
And, gliding through the quiet sunshine,
A shadow on the floor!

Ah! 't is the whispering pine that calls me,
The vine, whose shadow strays;
And my patient heart must still await her,
Nor chide her long delays.

But my heart grows sick with weary waiting,
As many a time before:
Her foot is ever at the threshold,
Yet never passes o'er.

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