Menace

I came into your room and spoke.
Sudden I knew you were not there.
The easy, common sentence broke
Against the unanswering air.

My heart shook like a frightened bird,
And to my ear the terror said,
Where nothing spoke and nothing stirred,—
Dear God, if he were dead!

I heard your footstep in the house,
Your voice brought comfort to my fear.
But, fluttering like a frightened mouse,
My heart beat at my ear.

The room wore its familiar face;
On the warm hearth spirted the flame.
Yet—menace of an empty place—
Lord, if he never came!
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