So that she scarce can breathe — so fast
Her pent up heart doth beat —
When, faint along the corridor,
Falleth the sound of feet: —
Sounds lighter than silk slippers make
Upon a ballroom floor, when sweet
Violin and 'cello wake
Music for twirling feet.
O! 'neath an old unfriendly roof,
What shapes may not conceal
Their faces in tlie open day,
At night abroad to steal?
Even her taper seems with fear
To languish small and blue;
Far in the woods the winter wind
Runs whistling through,
A dreadful cold plucks at each hair,
Her mouth is stretched to cry,
But sudden, with a gush of joy,
It narrows to a sigh.
It is a phantom child which comes
Soft through the corridor,
Singing an old forgotten song,
This ancient burden bore: —