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 Witch-Glass

A SYREN, with her mirror bright,
His ear enchants; and while he listens,
His image on his dazzled sight,
A very jewel gleams and glistens.

Ah, could he peer into yon brook,
Or into any heart that knows him,
He'd find the thing that met his look,
Was not the pearl the Witch-Glass
shows him!

by Joseph Skipsey.

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.

Some Wizard, Very Bad And Sly

1896

Some wizard, very bad and sly,
Had separated mind my own,
From real nature my -
And that is why I cry and moan.

But if he sometimes fells asleep,
While lost his magic awful,
Great nature is not more joyful,
It doesn't create of me a slip.

Always sincere one and mindful,
She'll quietly approach me.
In her, as bottomless as sea,
I see a grace of all that's marvel.

by Fyodor Sologub.

At Forres is a large round stone,
A relic of the days by gone;
For here there were two witches burned,
Underneath their ashes urned.

A man with veneration small
Broke stone and built it in his wall,
But the authorities of town
Made him full quickly pull them down.

Replace each piece, and it environ
With large bars of good Scottish iron ;
May fine old town thrive and adorn
The beauteous banks of the Findhorn.

by James McIntyre.

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.

Three In A Shade.

Here we sit, and blind Desire
Plays his spinet in the shade.
How is it our fancies tire?
Why is it our hearts afraid,
Cower, as with trembling wing
'Neath the grey hawk Time that flies
Where the phantom colours cling
To the ever-fading skies?
Is it with all things but thus?
In our hearts when we were born
Young Desire laughed with us,
So, so old now and forlorn
As he sits, an eerie elf
In the wizard airs that stir,
With a man so like himself
And the ghost of what you were.

by Robert Crawford.

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.

A Song Of The Sea.

Here within the half-light 'tween the night and day
Upon the sands I lie, with thoughts that idly stirr'd
Seem, as in a dream, with life and death to play,
As o'er the sea there flits a pale white bird.
In my heart I hear it, the murmur of the sea,
Ah! and memories of other lives are stirr'd,
As somewise there came a mystic voice to me
As o'er the sea there flits a pale white bird.
Who but knows that in me is a ghost that hears
A voice it heard of old in the primeval word —
A memory so dim, it like a dream appears
As o'er the sea there flits a pale white bird!

by Robert Crawford.

The smell of the sea in my nostrils,
The sound of the sea in mine ears;
The touch of the spray on my burning face,
Like the mist of reluctant tears.

The blue of the sky above me,
The green of the waves beneath;
The sun flashing down on a gray-white sail
Like a scimitar from its sheath.

And ever the breaking billows,
And ever the rocks' disdain;
And ever a thrill in mine inmost heart
That my reason cannot explain.

So I say to my heart, 'Be silent,
The mystery of time is here;
Death's way will be plain when we fathom the main,
And the secret of life be clear.'

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

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.

The traveller tells how, in that ancient clime
Whose mystic monuments and ruins hoar
Still struggle with the antiquary's lore,
To guard the secrets of a by-gone time,
He saw, uprising from the desert bare,
Like a white ghost, a city of the dead,
With palaces and temples wondrous fair,
Where moon-horn'd Isis once was worshipped.
But silence, like a pall, did all enfold,
And the inhabitants were turn'd to stone --
Yea, stone the very heart of every one!
Once to a rich man I this tale re-told.
"Stone hearts! A traveller's myth!" -- he turn'd aside,
As Hunger begg'd, pale-featured and wild-eyed.

by Edward Booth Loughran.

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.

On the slope of the knoll angels
whirl their woolen robes
in pastures of emerald and steel.
Meadows of flame leap up to the summit of the little hill.

At the left, the mold of the ridge is trampled by all the homicides
and all the battles, and all the disastrous noises
describe their curve. Behind the right-hand
ridge, the line of orients and of progress.

And while the band above the picture is composed of the revolving
and rushing hum of seashells and of human nights,
The flowering sweetness of the stars and of the night
and all the rest descends, opposite the knol
l, like a basket,-- against our face, and
makes the abyss perfumed and blue below.

by Arthur Rimbaud.

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.

How mystical is thought! We do but think,
Be it of heaven or hell, and we are there!
Such feet has phantasy, more fleet than light,
We flash ourselves away where'er we will,
And in a wink return we know not how.
It is our Genius haply makes it all —
The vision of the things we seem to see,
Which yet are not, or were not, had we not
The miracle of thought within us still,
Like Love's begetting, making all things new,
And still unmaking all we have done with;
So with creative joy as in a dream
Folding us in ourselves, as if it were,
Who are still one with all that we have made,
Revisioning the mystic entities
As each one reads as with undying eyes
The hyacinthine wonder of the soul,
As if alone in an enchanted isle
On the meridian of his own desire.

by Robert Crawford.

The Ghost Ship.

Behold her on the silent sea,
Yon vessel like a spirit there!
Moved in a dream's reality,
As if she trod the air.
None can tell from what creek or bay
She sailed out, or by night or day;
They watch her like a vision gone
Over the sea's oblivion.
And, lo! she fades a spectre thin,
Part of the moonlight and the sea;
As if the waves and stars met in
A moment's phantasy!
Or is it they stand hushed apart
And listen to her breathing heart,
As if the ghostly pulses stirred
To the voice of a faery bird.
A bird that chaunts somewhere between
The waters and the starry skies
A mystic song of what has been
Seen not of human eyes
Since when the world grew into birth,
And the white Moon enamoured Earth:
And she as in a vision gone
Moves to the music on — and on.

by Robert Crawford.

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.