Ghosts

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      There are ghosts in the room.
As I sit here alone, from the dark corners there
      They come out of the gloom,
And they stand at my side and they lean on my chair.

      There's the ghost of a Hope
That lighted my days with a fanciful glow.
      In her hand is the rope
That strangled her life out. Hope was slain long ago.

      But her ghost comes to-night,
With its skeleton face and expressionless eyes,
      And it stands in the light,
And mocks me, and jeers me with sobs and with sighs.

      There's the ghost of a Joy,
A frail, fragile thing, and I prized it too much,
      And the hands that destroy
Clasped it close, and it died at the withering touch.

      There's the ghost of a Love,
Born with joy, reared with hope, died in pain and unrest,
      But he towers above
All the others--this ghost: yet a ghost at the best.

      I am weary, and fain
Would forget all these dead: but the gibbering host
      Make my struggle in vain,
In each shadowy corner there lurketh a ghost.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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