Before me stood an apparition, still,
A spectre stood, I thought, before me; there,
Upon my garden trestle, stealthy came;
When first, I looked upon a pensive stare.
Regarding me, this silent wraith; her chill,
Unearthly gaze–or were it baneful gleam–
At first so menacing, then slyly tame,
Unfathomably deep, her eyes did seem.
Then spake she once, not whispering nor shrill
yet understood I not what hath she said.
Though close regarded what she would exclaim
My pounding heart were all I heard instead.
Yet now I will–when thrill to hear thy voice–
Rejoice–and shame–the lateness of my choice.