The selfsame vexful thought my strength impair'd,
When to my large, dim study there was tapping:
A gentleman and shaggy dog stood there.
A hearthside seat soon held my guest so weary,
Beside his rug-warm'd shoes did hound prostrate.
My guest politely asked: "Wherefore still dreary?
'Tis time, sir, to submit to lustrous fate."
"Old age is youth's return, its sunswept shore –"
So I began. Yet he cut in, insisting:
"'Tis all the same: mad Edgar's lost Lenore.
There's no return. And I need say no more."
Strange that in life were storms, hell, bliss persisting,
Yet in one hour alone with unknown guest,
I, his long-calm and steady gaze resisting,
Came to see life far simpler now, compress'd ...
This man has gone, his hound my hearth still facing.
Yet its good gaze, one bitter hour, will sit,
With rigid paw upon my knee so placing,
As if to say: 'Tis time, sir, to submit.