Chiffonier; the Shadow stayed on the wall.

He threw his cloak upon a chair,

And still the lady's face was there.

From every corner of the room

He saw, in the patch of light, the gloom

That was the lady. Her violet bloom

Was almost brighter than that which came

From his candle's tulip-flame.

He set the filigree hands; he laid

The watch in the case which he had made;

He put on his rabbit cloak, and snuffed

His candle out. The room seemed stuffed

With darkness. Softly he crossed the floor,

And let himself out through the door.

The sun was flashing from every pin

And wheel, when Paul let himself in.

The whitewashed walls were hot with light.

The room was the core of a chrysolite,

Burning and shimmering with fiery might.

The sun was so bright that no shadow could fall

From the furniture upon the wall.

Paul sighed as he looked at the empty space

Where a glare usurped the lady's place.

He settled himself to his work, but his mind

Wandered, and he would wake to find

His hand suspended, his eyes grown dim,

And nothing advanced beyond the rim

Of his dreaming. The Cardinal sent to pay

For his watch, which had purchased so fine a day.

But Paul could hardly touch the gold,

It seemed the price of his Shadow, sold.

With the first twilight he struck a match

And watched the little blue stars hatch

Into an egg of perfect flame.

He lit his candle, and almost in shame

At his eagerness, lifted his eyes.

The Shadow was there, and its precise

Outline etched the cold, white wall.

The young man swore, "By God! You, Paul,

There's something the matter with your brain.

Go home now and sleep off the strain."

The next day was a storm, the rain

Whispered and scratched at the window-pane.

A grey and shadowless morning filled

The little shop. The watches, chilled,

Were dead and sparkless as burnt-out coals.

The gems lay on the table like shoals

Of stranded shells, their colours faded,

Mere heaps of stone, dull and degraded.

Paul's head was heavy, his hands obeyed

No orders, for his fancy strayed.

His work became a simple round

Of watches repaired and watches wound.

The slanting ribbons of the rain

Broke themselves on the window-pane,

But Paul saw the silver lines in vain.

Only when the candle was lit

And on the wall just opposite

He watched again the coming of _it_,

Could he trace a line for the joy of his soul

And over his hands regain control.

Paul lingered late in his shop that night

And the designs which his delight

Sketched on paper seemed to be

A tribute offered wistfully

To the beautiful shadow of her who came

And hovered over his candle flame.

In the morning he selected all

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