Peeping Tom

I was there — by the curtains
When some men brought a box:
And one at the house of
Miss Emily knocks:

A low rat-tat-tat .
The door opened — and then,
Slowly mounting the steps, stooped
In the strange men.

Then the door darkly shut,
And I saw their legs pass,
Like an insect's, Miss Emily's
Window-glass —

Though why all her blinds
Have been hanging so low
These dumb foggy days,
I don't know.

Yes, only last week
I watched her for hours,
Potting out for the winter her
Balcony flowers.

And this very Sunday
She mused there a space,
Gazing into the street, with
The vacantest face:

Then turned her long nose,
And looked up at the skies —
One you would not have thought
Weather-wise!

Yet ... well, out stepped the men —
One ferrety-fair —
With gentlemen's hats, and
Whiskers and hair;

And paused in the porch.
Then smooth, solemn, grey,
They climbed to their places,
And all drove away

In their square varnished carriage,
The horse full of pride,
With a tail like a charger's:
They all sate outside.

Then the road became quiet:
Her house stiff and staid —
Like a Stage while you wait
For the Harlequinade ...

But what can Miss Emily
Want with a box
So long, narrow, shallow,
And without any locks?
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