The Poetry Corner

The Phantom Kiss

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

One night in my room, still and beamless, With will and with thought in eclipse, I rested in sleep that was dreamless; When softly there fell on my lips A touch, as of lips that were pressing Mine own with the message of bliss-- A sudden, soft, fleeting caressing, A breath like a maiden's first kiss. I woke-and the scoffer may doubt me-- I peered in surprise through the gloom; But nothing and none were about me, And I was alone in my room. Perhaps 't was the wind that caressed me And touched me with dew-laden breath; Or, maybe, close-sweeping, there passed me The low-winging Angel of Death. Some sceptic may choose to disdain it, Or one feign to read it aright; Or wisdom may seek to explain it-- This mystical kiss in the night. But rather let fancy thus clear it: That, thinking of me here alone, The miles were made naught, and, in spirit, Thy lips, love, were laid on mine own.