John Freeman

(1880-1929 / England)

Let Me In - Poem by John Freeman

LET me in, let me in!
O, I have seen, I have heard
At my window something strange
Threatening ill.
—Come, fear nothing. 'Twas a bird
Bewildered on your window sill.

Wings it had, wings it had,
And yet no bird such as sings
In the coppice, and no owl
Flapping soft.
—It was the cherry bough that swings
Between your window and the loft.

But I saw, but I saw
Eyeless eyes that looked at mine
Under brows bushed and gray,
And gray hair.
—It was a phantasy of thine
Frozen a moment on the air.

The eyes stared, and they stared
From the dark into the light,
And I stared back at the dark
As they stared.
—Some old spirit from Death's night
Haunting the roads where once he fared.

He was blind, he was blind,
Nothing gentle in his guise:
'Twas as if Time looked at me
Threatening ill.
—What to you is Time? He lies
Far off, by the ice-locked mill.

Who was it, then, who was it, then?
Was it cold Eternity
Snatched from the grave the face of one
Newly dead?
—Put out the light, lie close to me:
'Tis cold, cover your breast and head.

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010

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