Phantoms, by Madison Cawein

  This was her home; one mossy gable thrust
    Above the cedars and the locust trees:
  This was her home, whose beauty now is dust,
    A lonely memory for melodies
    The wild birds sing, the wild birds and the bees.

  Here every evening is a prayer: no boast
    Or ruin of sunset makes the wan world wroth;
  Here, through the twilight, like a pale flower's ghost,
    A drowsy flutter, flies the tiger-moth;
    And dusk spreads darkness like a dewy cloth.

  In vagabond velvet, on the placid day,
    A stain of crimson, lolls the butterfly;
  The south wind sows with ripple and with ray
    The pleasant waters; and the gentle sky
    Looks on the homestead like a quiet eye.

  Their melancholy quaver, lone and low,
    When day is done, the gray tree-toads repeat:
  The whippoorwills, far in the afterglow,
    Complain to silence: and the lightnings beat,
    In one still cloud, glimmers of golden heat.

  He comes not yet: not till the dusk is dead,
    And all the western glow is far withdrawn;
  Not till,—a sleepy mouth love's kiss makes red,—
    The baby bud opes in a rosy yawn,
    Breathing sweet guesses at the dreamed-of dawn.

  When in the shadows, like a rain of gold,
    The fireflies stream steadily; and bright
  Along the moss the glowworm, as of old,
    A crawling sparkle—like a crooked light
    In smoldering vellum—scrawls a square of night,—

  Then will he come; and she will lean to him,—
    She,—the sweet phantom,—memory of that place,—
  Between the starlight and his eyes; so dim
    With suave control and soul-compelling grace,
    He cannot help but speak her, face to face.