- “Please, if they're no good, they're only words but… the feeling behind them…”
- ―William "Spike" Pratt[src]
William Pratt wrote the poem during a party in London in 1880. First considering "luminous" and "irradiant", he asked a waiter about his difficulty on rhyming with "gleaming", but was only left with a polite smile. As Cecily arrived, though, he decided on "effulgent". As William approached the group of people Cecily talked to, an unidentified gentleman snatched the unfinished work from his hands, and read it out loud for all present to listen.
Unfinished, it went:
- My heart expands
- 'tis grown a bulge in it
- inspired by your beauty
The poem amused the crowd, who all laughed at William. The gentlemen joked it was "actually one of his better compositions," and that he was called "William the Bloody" because of his bloody awful poetry. Meanwhile, Cecily recognized herself as the subject of the poem, and, as she asked for his confirmation, she rejected his declaration of love. This led him to leave the party devastated, and cross paths with the vampire group known as The Whirlwind. Drusilla followed him into an alley, and offered him "something glowing and glistening. Something… effulgent.", indirectly answered his earlier question about other words for gleaming, including his own word of choice: He then accepted the stranger's offer, and was sired in the same night.
In 2004, before he and the Team Angel entered what could very well have been their final battle, each seized the day as it were their last. Spike went to an open mic poetry slam at the McTarnan's bar, where he recited the completed version of the poem.
The poem went:
- My soul is wrapped in harsh repose,
- midnight descends in raven colored clothes,
- but soft… behold!
- A sunlight beam
- cutting a swath of glimmering gleam.
- My heart expands,
- 'tis grown a bulge in it,
- Inspired by your beauty…
This time, his audience responded with approving applause, and he dedicated the performance to Cecily. He then followed with another of his poems, The Wanton Folly of Me Mum.
In 2006, while travelling back to Earth, Spike taught about poetry to his bug crew as one of his activities to pass the time. To explain to concept of iamb, he used his own poem My soul is wrapped in harsh repose as an example. Irene described what Spike read as "beautiful verses".