Twilight has fallen, austere and grey,
The ashes of a wasted day,
When, tapping at the window-pane,
My visitor had come again,
To peck late supper at his ease -
A morsel of suspended cheese.
What ancient code, what Morse knew he -
This eager little mystery -
That, as I watched, from lamp-lit room,
Called on some inmate of my heart to come
Out of its shadows - filled me then
With love, delight, grief, pining, pain,
Scarce less than had he angel been?
Suppose, such countenance as that,
Inhuman, deathless, delicate,
Had gazed this winter moment in -
Eyes of an ardour and beauty no
Star, no Sirius could show!
Well, it were best for such as I
To shun direct divinity;
Yet not stay heedless when I heard
The tip-tap nothings of a tiny bird.
Source: A Choice of de la Mare's Verse