TOIL and grow rich,
What's that but to lie
With a foul witch
And after, drained dry,
To be brought
To the chamber where
Lies one long sought
With despair?

by William Butler Yeats.

Mystic shadow, bending near me,
Who art thou?
Whence come ye?
And -- tell me -- is it fair
Or is the truth bitter as eaten fire?
Tell me!
Fear not that I should quaver.
For I dare -- I dare.
Then, tell me!

by Stephen Crane.

Fragment Of A Ghost Story

A shovel of his ashes took
From the hearth's obscurest nook,
Muttering mysteries as she went.
Helen and Henry knew that Granny
Was as much afraid of Ghosts as any,
And so they followed hard-
But Helen clung to her brother's arm,
And her own spasm made her shake.

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Holy Ghost! Dispel Our Sadness

Holy Ghost! dispel our sadness;
Pierce the clouds of nature's night.
Come, Thou source of joy and gladness,
Breathe Thy life, and spread Thy light.

Author of our new creation,
Bid us all Thine influence prove;
Make our souls Thy habitation;
Shed abroad the Saviour's love.

by Augustus Montague Toplady.

The Spider And The Ghost Of The Fly

Once I loved a spider
When I was born a fly,
A velvet-footed spider
With a gown of rainbow-dye.
She ate my wings and gloated.
She bound me with a hair.
She drove me to her parlor
Above her winding stair.
To educate young spiders
She took me all apart.
My ghost came back to haunt her.
I saw her eat my heart.

by Vachel Lindsay.

The Ghost-Yard Of The Goldenrod

WHEN the first silent frost has trod
The ghost-yard of the goldenrod,
And laid the blight of his cold hand
Upon the warm autumnal land,
And all things wait the subtle change
That men call death, is it not strange
That I— without a care or need,
Who only am an idle weed —
Should wait unmoved, so frail, so bold,
The coming of the final cold!

by Bliss William Carman.

Some Say That Ever ‘Gainst That Season Comes (Hamlet, Act I, Scene I)

Marcellus to Horatio and Bernardo, after seeing the Ghost,

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.

by William Shakespeare.

The Wonder Of It

How wild, how witch-like weird that life should be!
That the insensate rock dared dream of me,
And take to bursting out and burgeoning—
Oh, long ago—yo ho!—
And wearing green! How stark and strange a thing
That life should be!

Oh mystic mad, a rigadoon of glee,
That dust should rise, and leap alive, and flee
Afoot, awing, and shake the deeps with cries—
Oh, far away—yo hay!
What moony masque, what arrogant disguise
That life should be!

by Harriet Monroe.

A Ghost And A Dream

Rain will fall on the fading flowers,
Winds will blow through the dripping tree,
When Fall leads in her tattered Hours
With Death to keep them company.
All night long in the weeping weather,
All night long in the garden grey,
A ghost and a dream will talk together
And sad are the things they will have to say:
Old sad things of the bough that's broken;
Heartbreak things of the leaf that's dead;
Old sad things no tongue hath spoken;
Sorrowful things no man hath said.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

I am no mystic. All the ways of God
Are dark to me.
I know not if he lived or if he died
In agony.
My every act has reference to man.
Some human need
Of this one, or of that, or of myself
Inspires the deed.
But when I hear the Angelus, I say
A Latin prayer
Hoping the dim incanted words may shine
Some way, somewhere.
Words and a will may work upon my mind
Till ethics turn
To that transcendent mystic love with which
The Seraphim burn.

by Lesbia Harford.

NOW that the curtains are drawn close
Now that the fire burns low,
And on her narrow bed the rose
Is stark laid out in snow;
Now that the wind of winter blows
Bid my heart say if still it knows
The step it used to know.


I hear the silken gown you wear
Sweep on the gallery floor,
Your step comes up the wide, dark stair
And pauses at my door.
My heart with the old hope flowers fair--
That shrivels to the old despair,
For you come in no more!

by Edith Nesbit.

The Only Ghost I Ever Saw

The only ghost I ever saw
Was dressed in mechlin, --so;
He wore no sandal on his foot,
And stepped like flakes of snow.
His gait was soundless, like the bird,
But rapid, like the roe;
His fashions quaint, mosaic,
Or, haply, mistletoe.


Hi conversation seldom,
His laughter like the breeze
That dies away in dimples
Among the pensive trees.
Our interview was transient, --
Of me, himself was shy;
And God forbid I look behind
Since that appalling day!

by Emily Dickinson.

A Christmas Ghost Story.

South of the Line, inland from far Durban,
A mouldering soldier lies--your countryman.
Awry and doubled up are his gray bones,
And on the breeze his puzzled phantom moans
Nightly to clear Canopus: "I would know
By whom and when the All-Earth-gladdening Law
Of Peace, brought in by that Man Crucified,
Was ruled to be inept, and set aside?

And what of logic or of truth appears
In tacking 'Anno Domini' to the years?
Near twenty-hundred livened thus have hied,
But tarries yet the Cause for which He died."

by Thomas Hardy.

What The Ghost Of The Gambler Said

Where now the huts are empty,
Where never a camp-fire glows,
In an abandoned cañon,
A Gambler's Ghost arose.
He muttered there, "The moon's a sack
Of dust." His voice rose thin:
"I wish I knew the miner-man.
I'd play, and play to win.
In every game in Cripple-creek
Of old, when stakes were high,
I held my own. Now I would play
For that sack in the sky.
The sport would not be ended there.
'Twould rather be begun.
I'd bet my moon against his stars,
And gamble for the sun.

by Vachel Lindsay.

Under my keel another boat
Sails as I sail, floats as I float;
Silent and dim and mystic still,
It steals through that weird nether-world,
Mocking my power, though at my will
The foam before its prow is curled,
Or calm it lies, with canvas furled.

Vainly I peer and fain would see
What phantom in that boat may be;
Yet half I dread, lest I with ruth
Some ghost of my dead, past divine,
Some gracious shape of my lost youth,
Whose deathless eyes once fixed on mine
Would draw me downward through the brine!

by Arlo Bates.

The Witch-Bride

A fair witch crept to a young man's side,
And he kiss'd her and took her for his bride.

But a Shape came in at the dead of night,
And fill'd the room with snowy light.

And he saw how in his arms there lay
A thing more frightful than mouth may say.

And he rose in haste, and follow'd the Shape
Till morning crown'd an eastern cape.

And he girded himself, and follow'd still,
When sunset sainted the western hill.

But, mocking and thwarting, clung to his side,
Weary day! - the foul Witch-Bride.

by William Allingham.

On Re-Reading Certain German Poets

THEY hold their own, they have no peers
In gloom and glow, in hopes and fears,
In love and terror, hovering round
The lore of that enchanted ground! —
That mystic region, where one hears,
By bandit towers, the hunt that nears
Wild through the Hartz; the demon cheers
Of Hackelnberg; his horn and hound —
They hold their own.
Dark Wallenstein; and, down the years,
The Lorelei; and, creased with sneers,
Faust, Margaret; —the Sabboth sound,
Witch-whirling, of the Brocken, drowned
In storm, through which Mephisto leers,—
They hold their own.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

To An Importunate Ghost

Get gone, thou most uncomfortable ghost!
Thou really dost annoy me with thy thin
Impalpable transparency of grin;
And the vague, shadowy shape of thee almost
Hath vext me beyond boundary and coast
Of my broad patience. Stay thy chattering chin,
And reel the tauntings of thy vain tongue in,
Nor tempt me further with thy vaporish boast
That I am _helpless_ to combat thee! Well,
Have at thee, then! Yet if a doom most dire
Thou wouldst escape, flee whilst thou canst!--Revile
Me not, Miasmic Mist!--Rank Air! _retire_!
One instant longer an thou haunt'st me, I'll
_Inhale_ thee, O thou wraith despicable!

by James Whitcomb Riley.

Daylight And Moonlight

In broad daylight, and at noon,
Yesterday I saw the moon
Sailing high, but faint and white,
As a schoolboy's paper kite.

In broad daylight, yesterday,
I read a poet's mystic lay;
And it seemed to me at most
As a phantom, or a ghost.

But at length the feverish day
Like a passion died away,
And the night, serene and still,
Fell on village, vale, and hill.

Then the moon, in all her pride,
Like a spirit glorified,
Filled and overflowed the night
With revelations of her light.

And the Poet's song again
Passed like music through my brain;
Night interpreted to me
All its grace and mystery.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Crab-Faced, crab-tongued, with deep-set eyes that glared,
Unfriendly and unfriended lived the crone
Upon the common in her hut, alone,
Past which but seldom any villager fared.
Some said she was a witch and rode, wild-haired,
To devils' revels: on her hearth's rough stone
A fiend sat ever with gaunt eyes that shone
A shaggy hound whose fangs at all were bared.
So one day, when a neighbour's cow had died
And some one's infant sickened, good men shut
The crone in prison: dragged to court and tried:
Then hung her for a witch and burnt her hut.
Days after, on her grave, all skin and bones
They found the dog, and him they killed with stones.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

In Memoriam A. H. H.: 67. When On My Bed The Moonlight Fall

When on my bed the moonlight falls,
I know that in thy place of rest
By that broad water of the west,
There comes a glory on the walls:
Thy marble bright in dark appears,
As slowly steals a silver flame
Along the letters of thy name,
And o'er the number of thy years.
The mystic glory swims away;
From off my bed the moonlight dies;
And closing eaves of wearied eyes
I sleep till dusk is dipt in gray:

And then I know the mist is drawn
A lucid veil from coast to coast,
And in the dark church like a ghost
Thy tablet glimmers to the dawn.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Over the water an old ghost strode
To a churchyard on the shore,
And over him the waters had flowed
A thousand years or more,
And pale and wan and weary
Looked never a sprite as he;
For it's lonely and it's dreary
The ghost of a body to be
That has mouldered away in the sea.

Over the billows the old ghost stepped,
And the winds in mockery sung;
For the bodiless ghost would fain have wept
Over the maiden that lay so young
'Mong the thistles and toadstools so hoary;
And he begged of the waves a tear,
But they shook upwards their moonlight glory,
And the shark looked on with a sneer
At his yearning desire and agony.

by Thomas Lovell Beddoes.

Into the sunset's turquoise marge
The moon dips, like a pearly barge
Enchantment sails through magic seas
To faeryland Hesperides,
Over the hills and away.

Into the fields, in ghost-gray gown,
The young-eyed Dusk comes slowly down;
Her apron filled with stars she stands,
And one or two slip from her hands
Over the hills and away.

Above the wood's black caldron bends
The witch-faced Night and, muttering, blends
The dew and heat, whose bubbles make
The mist and musk that haunt the brake
Over the hills and away.

Oh, come with me, and let us go
Beyond the sunset lying low;
Beyond the twilight and the night,
Into Love's kingdom of long light,
Over the hills and away.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

ENDLESSLY fell her chestnut flowers,
Faint snow throughout the honeyed dark;
The myrtle spread his boughs to drink
Deep draughts of salt from the sea's brink,
And like a moon-dial swung her tower's
Straight shadow o'er her warded park.

From her calm coasts the galleons fled,
The fisher steered him further west,
No port was hailed, no keel came home
Across that pale, enchanted foam,
But by her roof the thrushes fed
And wandering swallows found their rest.

The shadows touched her tenderly,
The red beam lingered on her dress;
The white gull and the osprey knew
Her tower across the leagues of blue.
The wild swan when he sought the sea
Was laggard through her loveliness.

by Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall.

Hark, I hear a robin calling!
List, the wind is from the south!
And the orchard-bloom is falling
Sweet as kisses on the mouth.

In the dreamy vale of beeches
Fair and faint is woven mist,
And the river's orient reaches
Are the palest amethyst.

Every limpid brook is singing
Of the lure of April days;
Every piney glen is ringing
With the maddest roundelays.

Come and let us seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils,
Giving to the golden weather
Greeting on the sun-warm hills.

Ours shall be the moonrise stealing
Through the birches ivory-white;
Ours shall be the mystic healing
Of the velvet-footed night.

Ours shall be the gypsy winding
Of the path with violets blue,
Ours at last the wizard finding
Of the land where dreams come true.

by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

In Search Of The Young Wizard

I have invited our little seamstress to take her thread and needle and sew our two mouths together. I have asked the village blacksmith to forge golden chains to tie our ankles together. I have gathered all the gay ribbons in the world to wind around and around and around and around and around and around again around our two waists. I have arranged with the coiffeur for your hair to be made to grow into mine and my hair to be made to grow into yours. I have persuaded (not without bribery) the world's most famous Eskimo sealing-wax maker to perform the delicate operation of sealing us together so that I am warm in your depths, but though we hunt for him all night and though we hear various reports of his existence we can never find the young wizard who is able so they say to graft the soul of a girl to the soul of her lover so that not even the sharp scissors of the Fates can ever sever them apart.

by Harry Crosby.

The Mystic Blue

Out of the darkness, fretted sometimes in its sleeping,
Jets of sparks in fountains of blue come leaping
To sight, revealing a secret, numberless secrets keeping.

Sometimes the darkness trapped within a wheel
Runs into speed like a dream, the blue of the steel
Showing the rocking darkness now a-reel.

And out of the invisible, streams of bright blue drops
Rain from the showery heavens, and bright blue crops
Surge from the under-dark to their ladder-tops.

And all the manifold blue and joyous eyes,
The rainbow arching over in the skies,
New sparks of wonder opening in surprise.

All these pure things come foam and spray of the sea
Of Darkness abundant, which shaken mysteriously,
Breaks into dazzle of living, as dolphins that leap from the sea
Of midnight shake it to fire, so the secret of death we see.

by David Herbert Lawrence.

I HAVE walked a great while over the snow,
And I am not tall nor strong.
My clothes are wet, and my teeth are set,
And the way was hard and long.
I have wandered over the fruitful earth,
But I never came here before.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

The cutting wind is a cruel foe.
I dare not stand in the blast.
My hands are stone, and my voice a groan,
And the worst of death is past.
I am but a little maiden still,
My little white feet are sore.
Oh, lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door!

Her voice was the voice that women have,
Who plead for their heart's desire.
She came--she came--and the quivering flame
Sunk and died in the fire.
It never was lit again on my hearth
Since I hurried across the floor,
To lift her over the threshold, and let her in at the door.

by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge.

I went back to the clanging city,
I went back where my old loves stayed,
But my heart was full of my new love's glory,
My eyes were laughing and unafraid.

I met one who had loved me madly
And told his love for all to hear --
But we talked of a thousand things together,
The past was buried too deep to fear.

I met the other, whose love was given
With never a kiss and scarcely a word --
Oh, it was then the terror took me
Of words unuttered that breathed and stirred.

Oh, love that lives its life with laughter
Or love that lives its life with tears
Can die -- but love that is never spoken
Goes like a ghost through the winding years. . . .

I went back to the clanging city,
I went back where my old loves stayed,
My heart was full of my new love's glory, --
But my eyes were suddenly afraid.


Submitted by Venus

by Sara Teasdale.

A gallant city has been builded far
In the pied heaven,
Bannered with crimson, sentinelled by star
Of crystal even;
Around a harbor of the twilight glowing,
With jubilant waves about its gateways flowing

A city of the Land of Lost Delight,
On seas enchanted,
Presently to be lost in mist moon-white
And music-haunted;
Given but briefly to our raptured vision,
With all its opal towers and shrines elysian.

Had we some mystic boat with pearly oar
And wizard pilot,
To guide us safely by the siren shore
And cloudy islet,
We might embark and reach that shining portal
Beyond which linger dreams and joys immortal.

But we may only gaze with longing eyes
On those far, sparkling
Palaces in the fairy-peopled skies,
O'er waters darkling,
Until the winds of night come shoreward roaming,
And the dim west has only gray and gloaming.

by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Fruit Of The Flower

My father is a quiet man
With sober, steady ways;
For simile, a folded fan;
His nights are like his days.
My mother's life is puritan,
No hint of cavalier,
A pool so calm you're sure it can
Have little depth to fear.

And yet my father's eyes can boast
How full his life has been;
There haunts them yet the languid ghost
Of some still sacred sin.

And though my mother chants of God,
And of the mystic river,
I've seen a bit of checkered sod
Set all her flesh aquiver.

Why should he deem it pure mischance
A son of his is fain
To do a naked tribal dance
Each time he hears the rain?

Why should she think it devil's art
That all my songs should be
Of love and lovers, broken heart,
And wild sweet agony?

Who plants a seed begets a bud,
Extract of that same root;
Why marvel at the hectic blood
That flushes this wild fruit?

by Countee Cullen.

THE wind that met her in the park,
Came hurrying to my side—
It ran to me, it leapt to me,
And nowhere would abide.
It whispered in my ear a word,
So sweet a word, I swear,
It smelt of honey and the kiss
It'd stolen from her hair.
Then shouted me the flowery way
Whereon she walked with dreams,
And bade me wait and watch her pass
Among the glooms and gleams.
It ran to meet her as she came
And clasped her to its breast;
It kissed her throat, her chin, her mouth,
And laughed its merriest.
Then to my side it leapt again,
And took me by surprise:
The kiss it'd stolen from her lips
It blew into my eyes.
Since then, it seems, I have grown blind
To every face but hers:
It haunts me sleeping or awake,
And is become my curse.
The spell, that kiss has laid on me,
Shall hold my eyes the same,
Until I give it back again
To lips from which it came.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

The Moon Flower

I know a valley- through its solitude
A brown road winds towards a mountain crest;
There gnarly ti-trees dripping sweetness rest,
And grasses bend, too heavily bedowed.
In that still valley by the still lagoon,
A ruined homestead for her secret shrine,
Dwells Beauty's self, half-earthly, half-devine-
Thrilling, I saw her waken to the moon.
In peaks of emerald the cactus crept,
And there o'er rafters falling to decay,
A miracle of flowers, spray on spray,
Burst into perfect life while nature slept.
First a slim silver riband from the sky
Uncurled green fronds from each imprisoned bud,
Then, one by one, bathed in the beaming flood,
Like ghost-notes in a spirit litany.
They blossomed out before my eyes,
Great chalices of snow filled up with light;
Set in the mystic radiance of night
They seemed a vision from immortal skies.
Hidden in shadow near the still lagoon
Nightly I worship at a secret shrine,
There on a ruin- lily-white, devine,
Is beauty lying naked to the moon!

by Lala Fisher.

A Song From Shakespeare's Cymbeline Sung By Guiderus And Ar

To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each op'ning sweet, of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.

No wailing ghost shall dare appear,
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove:
But shepherd lads assemble here,
And melting virgins own their love.

No wither'd witch shall here be seen,
No goblins lead their nightly crew:
The female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew!

The redbreast oft at ev'ning hours
Shall kindly lend his little aid:
With hoary moss, and gather'd flow'rs,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.

When howling winds, and beating rain,
In tempests shake the sylvan cell,
Or midst the chase on ev'ry plain,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell.

Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
For thee the tear be duly shed:
Belov'd, till life could charm no more;
And mourn'd, till Pity's self be dead.

by William Collins.

Dirge In Cymbeline

SUNG BY GUIDERUS AND ARVIGARUS OVER FIDELE, SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD.

TO fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.

No wailing ghost shall dare appear
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove;
But shepherd lads assemble here,
And melting virgins own their love.

No wither'd witch shall here be seen;
No goblins lead their nightly crew;
The female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew!

The redbreast oft, at evening hours,
Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss, and gather'd flowers,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.

When howling winds, and beating rain,
In tempests shake thy sylvan cell;
Or 'midst the chase, on every plain,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell;

Each lonely scene shall thee restore;
For thee the tear be duly shed;
Belov'd till life can charm no more,
And mourn'd till Pity's self be dead.

by William Collins.

The moon shines white and silent
On the mist, which, like a tide
Of some enchanted ocean,
O'er the wide marsh doth glide,
Spreading its ghost-like billows
Silently far and wide.

A vague and starry magic
Makes all things mysteries,
And lures the earth's dumb spirit
Up to the longing skies:
I seem to hear dim whispers,
And tremulous replies.

The fireflies o'er the meadow
In pulses come and go;
The elm-trees' heavy shadow
Weighs on the grass below;
And faintly from the distance
The dreaming cock doth crow.

All things look strange and mystic,
The very bushes swell
And take wild shapes and motions,
As if beneath a spell;
They seem not the same lilacs
From childhood known so well.

The snow of deepest silence
O'er everything doth fall,
So beautiful and quiet,
And yet so like a pall;
As if all life were ended,
And rest were come to all.

O wild and wondrous midnight,
There is a might in thee
To make the charmed body
Almost like spirit be,
And give it some faint glimpses
Of immortality!

by James Russell Lowell.

The Mystic Veil

When the shadows take their nightly places,
When departing light is faint and pale,
Then in my chamber gather phantom faces,
Gazing thro' the mystic veil.
One there is with features so familiar,
Glimpse of her give[s] my pulse a start;
Oh! tell me truely is it you, love,
Come to cheer my lonly heart?

Come one step nearer! (One step nearer!)
one shade clearer? (one shade clearer!)
Breath on word before we part; (before we part;)
And tell me--truly it is you, love,
Come to cheer my lonely heart?

When my song, in lonely notes ascending,
Vainly bids my sadden'd soul rejoin [rejoice?],
Methinks I hear a murmur'd alto blending:
Is it really your sweet voice?
Answer now, if only by a whisper;
Rend the veil, the mystic veil, apart:
And tell me truely is it you, love,
Come to cheer my lonely heart?

Waking while the denser darkness lingers,
Some one seems to stand beside my bed;
I can but think I feel your fairy fingers,
Softly laid upon my head.
Silently why does the vision vanish?
Dream I yet, or is it magic art?
Now tell me truely is it you, love,
Come to cheer my lonely heart?

by Henry Clay Work.

DAY has fled to the west afar,
Where no shadows or sorrows are;
O'er earth's radiant western rim
God has gathered the day to him.
Hush! the river of night is here,
Flowing silently, cool and clear,
With its mystical thoughts that throng
And its silences deep as song.
Babe of my bosom, sleep;
Tender, sweet blossom, sleep!
Hearts may ache
While the long hours go creeping;
Hearts may break
While my baby is sleeping;
Never wake,
Though thy mother is weeping;
Babe of my bosom, sleep!
Sleep! the silence is all around,
Save the sighings that are not sound,
Where the wind in the branches weaves
Mystic melodies through the leaves;
Or the far-away murmurings
Like the stir of an angel's wings.
Only night is about us now—
Child, the earth is as tired as thou.

Babe of my bosom, sleep;
Tender, sweet blossom, sleep!
Hearts may ache
While the long hours go creeping,
Hearts may break
While my baby is sleeping:
Never wake.
Though thy mother is weeping;
Babe of my bosom, sleep!

by Arthur Henry Adams.

The Ghost Of Deacon Brown

In a backwoods town
Lived Deacon Brown,
And he was a miser old;
He would trust no bank,
So he dug, and sank
In the ground a box of gold,
Down deep in the ground a box of gold.

He hid his gold,
As has been told,
He remembered that he did it;
But sad to say,
On the very next day,
He forgot just where he hid it:
To find his gold he tried and tried
Till he grew faint and sick, and died.

Then on each dark and gloomy night
A form in phosphorescent white,
A genuine hair-raising sight,
Would wander through the town.
And as it slowly roamed around,
With a spade it dug each foot of ground;
So the folks about
Said there was no doubt
'Twas the ghost of Deacon Brown.

Around the church
This Ghost would search,
And whenever it would see
The passers-by
Take wings and fly
It would laugh in ghostly glee,
Hee, hee!—it would laugh in ghostly glee.

And so the town
Went quickly down,
For they said that it was haunted;
And doors and gates,
So the story states,
Bore a notice, 'Tenants wanted.'

And the town is now for let,
But the ghost is digging yet.

by James Weldon Johnson.

A Ghost Of Yesterday

THERE is a house beside a way,
Where dwells a ghost of Yesterday:
The old face of a beauty, faded,
Looks from its garden: and the shaded
Long walks of locust-trees, that seem
Forevermore to sigh and dream,
Keep whispering low a word that's true,
Of shapes that haunt its avenue,
Clad as in days of belle and beau,
Who come and go
Around its ancient portico.
At first, in stock and beaver-hat,
With flitting of the moth and bat,
An old man, leaning on a cane,
Comes slowly down the locust lane;
Looks at the house; then, groping, goes
Into the garden where the rose
Still keeps sweet tryst with moth and moon;
And, humming to himself a tune,
—'Lorena' or 'Ben Bolt' we'll say,—
Waits, bent and gray,
For some fair ghost of Yesterday.
The Yesterday that holds his all —
More real to him than is the wall
Of mossy stone near which he stands,
Still reaching out for her his hands —
For her, the girl, who waits him there,
A lace-gowned phantom, dark of hair,
Whose loveliness still keeps those walks,
And with whose Memory he talks;
Upon his heart her happy head,—
So it is said,—
The girl, now half a century dead.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

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