As unseen spheres cast shadows on the Earth
Some unknown cause depresses me to-night.
The house is full of laughter and sweet mirth,
The day has held but pleasure and delight.
Down in the parlour some one blithely sings;
A chime of laughter echoes in the hall;
But all unseen by other eyes, strange things
Rat-like do seem to glide along the wall.
I rise, and laugh, and say I will not care;
I call them idle fancies, one and all.
And yet, suspended by a single hair,
The sword of Fate seems trembling soon to fall.
I leave the house, and walk the lighted street;
And mingle with the pleasure-seeking throng.
And close behind me follow spectre feet
That pause with me, or with me move along.
I seek my room, and close and bolt the door;
I draw the curtain, and turn up the light;
But close beside me, closer than before,
This nameless something stands, but out of sight.
Ye mystic messenger of woe to come,
Ye nameless nothing called 'Presentiment,'
Take form and face me; be no longer dumb,
But tell who thou art, and wherefore sent.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.
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