At four o'clock in late October I sat alone in the country school-house Back from the road 'mid stricken fields, And an eddy of wind blew leaves on the pane, And crooned in the flue of the cannon-stove, With its open door blurring the shadows With the spectral glow of a dying fire. In an idle mood I was running the planchette -- All at once my wrist grew limp, And my hand moved rapidly over the board, Till the name of "Charles Guiteau" was spelled, Who threatened to materialize before me. I rose and fled from the room bare-headed Into the dusk, afraid of my gift. And after that the spirits swarmed -- Chaucer, Caesar, Poe and Marlowe, Cleopatra and Mrs. Surratt -- Wherever I went, with messages, -- Mere trifling twaddle, Spoon River agreed. You talk nonsense to children, don't you? And suppose I see what you never saw And never heard of and have no word for, I must talk nonsense when you ask me What it is I see!