I've Lived So Long

I've lived so long companionless
In this old house bowed down with years,
I've learned to welcome loneliness,
Converse with dreams and sit with fears.

Often and often in the night
When I have laid some dull book down,
One comes between me and the light
With terrible, unrustling gown.

Wistful as moonlight in the room
Her face sways, luminous with fire
Of eyes unsmothered by the tomb,
Of lips remembering still desire.

And there beside the lute she stands
With mournful little motionings,
And stretches out her pulseless hands
And only thrusts them through the strings.

No way to bring her longing near
Who has no heart to beat and break,
Nor any way that she can hear
The sound her lost touch can not make.

Oh who will sit here wondering
Some other night and watch me steal
Close to an unforgotten thing
With hands that reach but do not feel?