My Little Ghost.

A poem by Susan Coolidge

I know where it lurks and hides,
In the midst of the busy house,
In the midst of the children's glee,
All clay its shadow bides:
Nobody knows but me.

On a closet-shelf it dwells,
In the darkest corner of all,
Mid rolls of woollen and fur,
And faint, forgotten smells
Of last year's lavender.

That a ghost has its dwelling there
Nobody else would guess,--
"Only a baby's shoe,
A curl of golden hair,"
You would say, "a toy or two,--

"A broken doll, whose lips
And cheeks of waxen bloom
Show dents of fingers small,--
Little, fair finger-tips,--
A worn sash,--that is all."

Little to see or to guess;
But whenever I open the door,
There, faithful to its post,
With its eyes' sad tenderness,
I see my little ghost.

And I hasten to shut the door,
I shut it tight and fast,
Lest the sweet, sad thing get free,
Lest it flit beside on the floor,
And sadden the day for me,

Lest between me and the sun,
And between me and the heavens,
And the laugh in the children's eyes,
The shadowy feet should run,
The faint gold curls arise

Like a gleam of moonlight pale,
And all the warmth and the light
Should die from the summer day,
And the laughter turn to wail,
And I should forget to pray.

So I keep the door shut fast,
And my little ghost shut in,
And whenever I cross the hall
I shiver and hurry past;
But I love it best of all.

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