The Walker


Who walks round my house all night?
None but lanky Tom.

Who walks round my house all night,
Stepping sad and slow,
Ghost or woman, child or sprite?
None that I do know.

Who is she that haunts the dark
When the moon is down,
Street or garden, pale or park,
Through the sleeping town?

When the frost falls thick and chill
And the stars slide by,
In my bed I hear it still,
Hear her walk and sigh.

Sultry midnights when I wake
In the clutch of fear,
Though my bones with fever shake,
Nothing do I hear;

Nothing, nothing can I spy
Through the darkened pane;
Yet, when on my bed I lie,
Come those steps again;

Comes the sound of mortal grief
And the tread of woe—
Is it woman, spirit, thief,
Pacing to and fro?

“Lover, keep your careless bed,
Turn you to the wall.
Not the living, not the dead
Answers here your call;

“But a witness from the void,
Banned with drug and knife,
Whom your coward heart destroyed
In the gates of life.”

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