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Title: Poetry of the Supernatural
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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signs=. Ellipses match the original.

                      Poetry of the Supernatural

                    Compiled by Earle F. Walbridge


                             The New York
                            Public Library

                         REPRINTED JUNE 1919
                               FROM THE
                   BRANCH LIBRARY NEWS OF MAY 1919


                       form p-099 [vi-23-19 5m]


Lafcadio Hearn, in his _Interpretations of Literature_ (one of the most
valuable and delightful books on literature which has been written in
our time), says: "Let me tell you that it would be a mistake to suppose
that the stories of the supernatural have had their day in fine
literature. On the contrary, wherever fine literature is being produced,
either in poetry or in prose, you will find the supernatural element
very much alive. . . But without citing other living writers, let me
observe that there is scarcely any really great author in European
literature, old or new, who has not distinguished himself in the
treatment of the supernatural. In English literature, I believe, there
is no exception,--even from the time of the Anglo-Saxon poets to
Shakespeare, and from Shakespeare to our own day. And this introduces us
to the consideration of a general and remarkable fact,--a fact that I do
not remember to have seen in any books, but which is of very great
philosophical importance; there is something ghostly in all great art,
whether of literature, music, sculpture, or architecture."

Feeling this, Mr. Walbridge has compiled the following list. It is not a
bibliography, nor even a "contribution toward" a bibliography, nor a
"reading list," in the usual sense, but the intelligent selection of a
number of instances in which poets, major and minor, have turned to
ghostly themes. If it causes you, reading one of its quotations, to hunt
for and read the whole poem, it will have served its purpose. If it
tells you of a poem you have never read--and so gives you a new
pleasure--or if it reminds you of one you had forgotten, it will have
been sufficiently useful. But for those who are fond of poetry, and fond
of recollecting poems which they have enjoyed, it is believed that the
list is not without interest in itself. Its quotations are taken from
the whole great range of English poetry, both before and after the time
of him "who made Prospero the magician, and gave him Caliban and Ariel
as his servants, who heard the Tritons blowing their horns round the
coral reefs of the Enchanted Isle, and the fairies singing to each other
in a wood near Athens, who led the phantom kings in dim procession
across the misty Scottish heath, and hid Hecate in a cave with the weird


    [3:1] The picture on the front cover is from an illustration by
    Mr. Gerald Metcalfe, for Coleridge's "Christabel," in _The
    Poems of Coleridge_, published by John Lane.



     _Like one that on a lonesome road
     Doth walk in fear and dread,
     And having once turned round, walks on,
     And turns no more his head;
     Because he knows a frightful fiend
     Doth close behind him tread._

                            --_Rime of the Ancient Mariner._


=Allingham=, William. A Dream. (In Charles Welsh's The Golden Treasury of
Irish Songs and Lyrics.)

     I heard the dogs howl in the moonlight night.
     I went to the window to see the sight:
     All the dead that ever I knew
     Going one by one and two by two.

=Arnold=, Matthew. The Forsaken Merman.

     In its delicate loveliness "The Forsaken Merman" ranks high
     among Mr. Arnold's poems. It is the story of a Sea-King,
     married to a mortal maiden, who forsook him and her children
     under the impulse of a Christian conviction that she must
     return and pray for her soul.--_H. W. Paul._

     She sate by the pillar: we saw her clear;
     "Margaret, hist! Come quick, we are here!
     Dear heart," I said, "We are long alone;
     The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan."
     But, ah, she gave me never a look,
     For her eyes were seal'd to the holy book.

---- St. Brandan.

     . . . a picturesque embodiment of a strange mediaeval legend
     touching Judas Iscariot, who is supposed to be released from
     Hell for a few hours every Christmas because he had done in
     his life a single deed of charity.--_H. W. Paul._

=Barlow=, Jane. Three Throws and One. (In Walter Jerrold's The Book of
Living Poets.)

     At each throw of my net there's a life must go down into death
         on the sea.
     At each throw of my net it comes laden, O rare, with my wish
         back to me.
     With my choice of all treasures most peerless that lapt in the
         oceans be.

=Boyd=, Thomas. The King's Son. (In Padric Gregory's Modern Anglo-Irish

     Who rideth through the driving rain
         At such a headlong speed?
     Naked and pale he rides amain,
         Upon a naked steed.

=Browning=, Elizabeth Barrett. The Lay of the Brown Rosary.

     Who meet there, my mother, at dawn and at even?
     Who meet by that wall, never looking at heaven?
     O sweetest my sister, what doeth with thee
     The ghost of a nun with a brown rosary
         And a face turned from heaven?

=Browning=, Robert. Mesmerism.

     And the socket floats and flares,
     And the house-beams groan
     And a foot unknown
     Is surmised on the garret stairs
     And the locks slip unawares. . .

=Buchanan=, Robert. The Ballad of Judas Iscariot. (In Stedman's Victorian

     The beauty is chiefly in the central idea of forgiveness, but
     the workmanship of this composition has also a very remarkable
     beauty, a Celtic beauty of weirdness, such as we seldom find
     in a modern composition touching religious
     tradition.--_Lafcadio Hearn._

     The body of Judas Iscariot
         Lay stretched along the snow.
     'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
         Ran swiftly to and fro.

=Carleton=, William. Sir Turlough, or The Churchyard Bride. (In Stopford
Brooke's A Treasury of Irish Poetry.)

     The churchyard bride is accustomed to appear to the last
     mourner in the churchyard after a burial, and, changing its
     sex to suit the occasion, exacts a promise and a fatal kiss
     from the unfortunate lingerer.

     He pressed her lips as the words were spoken,
         Killeevy, O Killeevy!
     And his banshee's wail--now far and broken--
     Murmured "Death" as he gave the token
         By the bonny green woods of Killeevy.

=Chatterton=, Thomas. The Parliament of Sprites.

     "The Parliament of Sprites" is an interlude played by
     Carmelite friars at William Canynge's house on the occasion of
     the dedication of St. Mary Redcliffe's. One after another the
     "antichi spiriti dolenti" rise up and salute the new edifice:
     Nimrod and the Assyrians, Anglo-Saxon ealdormen and Norman
     knights templars, and citizens of ancient Bristol.--_H. A.

=Coleridge=, Samuel Taylor. Christabel.

     The thing attempted in "Christabel" is the most difficult of
     execution in the whole field of romance--witchery by
     daylight--and the success is complete.--_John Gibson

---- The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

     About, about, in reel and rout
     The death-fires danced at night;
     The water, like a witch's oils,
     Burnt green, and blue, and white.

=Cortissoz=, Ellen Mackay Hutchinson. On Kingston Bridge. (In Stedman's
American Anthology.)

     'Twas all souls' night, and to and fro
     The quick and dead together walked,
     The quick and dead together talked,
         On Kingston bridge.

=Crawford=, Isabella Valancy. The Mother's Soul. (In John Garvin's
Canadian Poets and Poetry.)

     Another elaborate variation on the theme of the return of a
     mother from her grave to rescue her children. Miss Crawford's
     mother does not go as far as the ghost in Robert Buchanan's
     "Dead Mother," who not only makes three trips to assemble her
     neglected family, but manages to appear to their delinquent
     father, to his great discomfort and the permanent loss of his

=Dobell=, Sydney. The Ballad of Keith of Ravelston. (In The Oxford Book of
English Verse.)

     A ballad unsurpassed in our literature for its weird
     suggestiveness.--_Richard Garnett._

     She makes her immemorial moan,
         She keeps her shadowy kine;
     O, Keith of Ravelston,
         The sorrows of thy line!

=Drummond=, William Henry. The Last Portage. (In Wilfred Campbell's The
Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.)

     An' oh! mon Dieu! w'en he turn hees head
     I'm seein' de face of my boy is dead.

=Eaton=, Arthur Wentworth Hamilton. The Phantom Light of the Baie des
Chaleurs. (In T. H. Rand's A Treasury of Canadian Verse.)

     This was the last of the pirate crew;
     But many a night the black flag flew
     From the mast of a spectre vessel sailed
     By a spectre band that wept and wailed
     For the wreck they had wrought on the sea, on the land,
     For the innocent blood they had spilt on the sand
     Of the Baie des Chaleurs.

=Field=, Eugene. The Peter-bird. (In his Songs and Other Verse.)

     These are the voices of those left by the boy in the farmhouse,
     When, with his laughter and scorn, hatless and bootless and sockless,
     Clothed in his jeans and his pride, Peter sailed out in the weather,
     Broke from the warmth of his home into that fog of the devil,
     Into the smoke of that witch brewing her damnable porridge!

=Freneau=, Philip. The Indian Burying-ground. (In Stedman's American

     By midnight moons, o'er moistening dews,
         In habit for the chase arrayed,
     The hunter still the deer pursues,
         The hunter and the deer--a shade.

=Graves=, Alfred Perceval. The Song of the Ghost. (In Padric Gregory's
Modern Anglo-Irish Verse.)

     O hush your crowing, both grey and red,
     Or he'll be going to join the dead;
     O cease from calling his ghost to the mould
     And I'll come crowning your combs with gold.

=Guiney=, Louise Imogen. Peter Rugg, the Bostonian. (In Warner's Library
of the World's Best Literature, v. 41.)

     Upon those wheels on any path
     The rain will follow loud,
     And he who meets that ghostly man
     Will meet a thunder-cloud.
     And whosoever speaks with him
     May next bespeak his shroud.

=Harte=, Francis Bret. A Greyport Legend.

     Still another phantom ship, a treacherous hulk that broke from
     its moorings and drifted with a crew of children into the fog.

=Hawker=, Robert Stephen. Mawgan of Melhuach. (In Stedman's Victorian

     Hard was the struggle, but at the last
     With a stormy pang old Mawgan past,
     And away, away, beneath their sight,
     Gleam'd the red sail at pitch of night.

=Hawthorne=, Julian. Were-wolf. (In Stedman's American Anthology.)

     Dabbled with blood are its awful lips
     Grinning in horrible glee.
     The wolves that follow with scurrying feet
     Sniffing that goblin scent, at once
     Scatter in terror, while it slips
     Away, to the shore of the frozen sea.

=Herrick=, Robert. The Hag.

     The Hag is astride,
     This night for to ride,
         The Devil and she together.
     Through thick, and through thin,
     Now out, and then in,
         Though ne'er so foul be the weather.

=Hood=, Thomas. The Haunted House.

     O'er all there hung a shadow and a fear
         A sense of mystery the spirit daunted
     And said, as plain as whisper in the ear,
         "The place is Haunted!"

=Houghton=, George. The Handsel Ring. (In Stedman's American Anthology.)

     A man and maid are plighting their troth in the tomb of an old
     knight, the girl's father, when the man lucklessly drops the
     ring through a crack in the floor of the tomb.

     "Let not thy heart be harried and sore
         For a little thing!"
     "Nay! but behold what broodeth there!
     See the cold sheen of his silvery hair!
     Look how his eyeballs roll and stare,
         Seeking thy handsel ring!"

=Hugo=, Victor. The Djinns. (In Charles A. Dana's The Household Book of

     Ha! they are on us, close without!
         Shut tight the shelter where we lie!
     With hideous din the monster rout,
         Dragon and vampire, fill the sky!

=Joyce=, Patrick Weston. The Old Hermit's Story. (In Padric Gregory's
Modern Anglo-Irish Verse.)

     My curragh sailed on the western main,
     And I saw, as I viewed the sea,
     A withered old man upon a wave,
     And he fixed his eyes on me.

=Keats=, John. La Belle Dame sans Merci.

     I saw pale kings, and princes too,
     Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
     Who cry'd---"La belle dame sans merci
     Hath thee in thrall."

---- Lamia.

     "A serpent!" echoed he; no sooner said,
     Than with a frightful scream she vanished:
     And Lycius' arms were empty of delight,
     As were his limbs of life, from that same night.

=Kingsley=, Charles. The Weird Lady.

     The swevens came up round Harold the earl
     Like motes in the sunnès beam;
     And over him stood the Weird Lady
     In her charmèd castle over the sea,
     Sang "Lie thou still and dream."

=Leconte de Lisle=, Charles. Les Elfes. (In The Oxford Book of French

     --Ne m'arrête pas, fantôme odieux!
     Je vais épouser ma belle aux doux yeux.
     --O mon cher époux, la tombe éternelle
     Sera notre lit de noce, dit-elle.
     Je suis morte!--Et lui, la voyant ainsi,
     D'angoisse et d'amour tombe mort aussi.

=Lockhart=, Arthur John. The Waters of Carr. (In T. H. Rand's A Treasury
of Canadian Verse.)

     'Tis the Indian's babe, they say,
     Fairy stolen; changed a fay;
     And still I hear her calling, calling, calling,
     In the mossy woods of Carr!

=Longfellow=, Henry Wadsworth. The Ballad of Carmilhan.

     For right ahead lay the Ship of the Dead
         The ghostly Carmilhan!
     Her masts were stripped, her yards were bare,
     And on her bowsprit, poised in air,
         Sat the Klaboterman.

=Macdonald=, George. Janet. (In Linton and Stoddard's Ballads and

     The night was lown and the stars sat still
     A glintin' down the sky;
     And the souls crept out of their mouldy graves
     A' dank wi' lying by.

=McKay=, Charles. The Kelpie of Corrievreckan. (In Dugald Mitchell's The
Book of Highland Verse.)

     And every year at Beltan E'en
     The Kelpie gallops across the green
     On a steed as fleet as the wintry wind,
     With Jessie's mournful ghost behind.

=Mackenzie=, Donald A. The Banshee. (In The Book of Highland Verse.)

     The linen that would wrap the dead
         She beetled on a stone,
     She stood with dripping hands, blood-red,
         Low singing all alone--
     "His linen robes are pure and white,
     For Fergus More must die tonight."

=Mallet=, David. William and Margaret. (In W. M. Dixon's The Edinburgh
Book of Scottish Verse.)

     The hungry worm my sister is,
         The winding sheet I wear.
     And cold and weary lasts our night,
         Till that last morn appear.

=Moore=, Thomas. The Lake of the Dismal Swamp.

     They made her a grave too cold and damp
     For a soul so warm and true;
     And she's gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp
     Where all night long, by a firefly lamp,
     She paddles her birch canoe.

=Morris=, William. The Tune of Seven Towers.

     No one walks there now;
         Except in the white moonlight
     The white ghosts walk in a row,
         If one could see it, an awful sight.
     "Listen!" said Fair Yolande of the flowers,
     "This is the tune of Seven Towers."

=Österling=, Anders. Meeting of Phantoms. (In Charles Wharton Stork's
Anthology of Swedish Lyrics from 1750 to 1915.)

     I in a vision
     Saw my lost sweetheart,
     Fearlessly toward me
     I saw her stray.
     So pale! I thought then;
     She smiled her answer:
     "My heart, my spirit,
     I've kissed away."

=O'Sullivan=, Vincent. He Came on Holy Saturday. (In Padric Gregory's
Modern Anglo-Irish Verse.)

     To-night on holy Saturday
     The weary ghost came back,
     And laid his hand upon my brow,
     And whispered me, "Alack!
     There sits no angel by the tomb,
     The Sepulchre is black."

=Poe=, Edgar Allan. The Conqueror Worm.

     Through a circle that ever returneth in
         To the self-same spot,
     And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
         And Horror the soul of the plot.

---- Ulalume.

     And we passed to the end of a vista,
     But were stopped by the door of a tomb--
     By the door of a legended tomb;
     And I said--"What is written, sweet sister,
     On the door of that legended tomb?"
     She replied--"Ulalume--Ulalume--
     'Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume."

=Rossetti=, Christina.

     She never doubts but she always wonders. Again and again in
     imagination she crosses the bridge of death and explores the
     farther shore. Her ghosts come back with familiar forms,
     familiar sensations, and familiar words.--_Elisabeth Luther

---- A Chilly Night.

     I looked and saw the ghosts
         Dotting plain and mound.
     They stood in the blank moonlight
         But no shadow lay on the ground.
     They spoke without a voice
         And they leaped without a sound.

---- Goblin Market.

     "Lie close," Laura said,
     Pricking up her golden head:
     "We must not look at goblin men.
     We must not buy their fruits;
     Who knows upon what soil they fed
     Their hungry thirsty roots?"

=Rossetti=, Dante Gabriel. Eden Bower.

     It was Lilith the wife of Adam.
         (Eden Bower's in flower)
     Not a drop of her blood was human,
     But she was made like a soft sweet woman.

---- Sister Helen.

     Its forty-two short verses unfold the whole story of the
     wronged woman's ruthless vengeance on her false lover as she
     watches the melting of the "waxen man" which, according to the
     old superstitions, is to carry with it the destruction, body
     and soul, of him in whose likeness it was fashioned.--_H. R.

     "Ah! What white thing at the door has cross'd,
         Sister Helen?
     Ah! What is this that sighs in the frost?"
     "A soul that's lost as mine is lost,
         Little brother!"
         (O Mother, Mary Mother,
     Lost, lost, all lost, between Hell and Heaven!)

=Scott=, Sir Walter. Child Dyring.

     'Twas lang i' the night, and the bairnies grat.
     Their mither she under the mools heard that.

---- The Dance of Death.

     A vision appearing to a Scottish sentinel on the eve of

     . . . Down the destined plain
     'Twixt Britain and the bands of France
     Wild as marsh-borne meteor's glance,
     Strange phantoms wheeled a revel dance
     And doom'd the future slain.

=Scott=, William Bell. The Witch's Ballad. (In The Oxford book of English

     Drawn up I was right off my feet,
     Into the mist and off my feet,
     And, dancing on each chimney top
     I saw a thousand darling imps
     Keeping time with skip and hop.

=Shairp=, John Campbell. Cailleach bein-y-vreich. (In Stedman's Victorian

     Then I mount the blast, and we ride full fast,
     And laugh as we stride the storm,
     I, and the witch of the Cruachan Ben
     And the scowling-eyed Seul-Gorm.

=Shanly=, C. D. The Walker of the Snow. (In Stedman's Victorian

     . . . I saw by the sickly moonlight
     As I followed, bending low,
     That the walking of the stranger
     Left no footmarks on the snow.

=Sharp=, William. ("Fiona McLeod.") Cap'n Goldsack.

     Down in the yellow bay where the scows are sleeping,
         Where among the dead men the sharks flit to and fro--
     There Cap'n Goldsack goes creeping, creeping, creeping,
         Looking for his treasure down below.

=Southey=, Robert. The Old Woman of Berkeley.

     I have 'nointed myself with infant's fat,
     The fiends have been my slaves.
     From sleeping babes I have sucked the breath,
     And breaking by charms the sleep of death,
     I have call'd the dead from their graves.
     And the Devil will fetch me now in fire
     My witchcrafts to atone;
     And I who have troubled the dead man's grave
     Will never have rest in my own.

=Stephens=, Riccardo. The Phantom Piper. (In The Book of Highland Verse.)

     But when the year is at its close
     Right down the road to Hell he goes.
     There the gaunt porters all agrin
     Fling back the gates to let him in,
     Then damned and devil, one and all,
     Make mirth and hold high carnival.

=Swinburne=, Algernon Charles. After Death. (In Poems and Ballads, First

     The four boards of the coffin lid
     Heard all the dead man did.

     The first curse was in his mouth,
     Made of grave's mould and deadly drouth.

=Taylor=, William. Lenore.

     The most successful rendering of Bürger's much-translated
     "Lenore," and the direct inspiration of Scott's "William and

     Tramp, tramp across the land they speede,
     Splash, splash across the sea:
     "Hurrah! The dead can ride apace.
     Dost fear to ride with me?"

=Watson=, Rosamund Marriott-. The Farm on the Links. (In The Oxford Book
of Victorian Verse.)

     What is it cries with the crying of the curlews?
     What comes apace on those fearful, stealthy feet?
     Back from the chill sea-deeps, gliding o'er the sand dunes,
     Home to the old home, once again to meet?

=Whittier=, John Greenleaf. The Dead Ship of Harpswell.

     No foot is on thy silent deck,
     Upon thy helm no hand,
     No ripple hath the soundless wind
     That smites thee from the land.

---- The Old Wife and the New.

     Ring and bracelet all are gone,
     And that ice-cold hand withdrawn;
     But she hears a murmur low,
     Full of sweetness, full of woe,
     Half a sigh and half a moan:
     "Fear not! Give the dead her own."


     _The darkness behind me is burning with eyes,
     It needs not my turning, I know otherwise:
     The air is a-quiver with rustle of wings
     And I feel the cold shiver of spiritual things!_

                   --_"Instinct and Reason"
                       from "The Book of Winifred Maynard."_

=Benét=, William Rose. Devil's Blood. (Second Film in "Films," in "The
Burglar of the Zodiac.")

     . . . Down the path--
     _Is it but shadow?_--steals a thread of wrath,
     A red bright thread. It reaches him. He reels.
     _Wet! Warm!_ Wily athwart his step it steals
     And stains his white court footgear, toes to heels.

=Brooke=, Rupert. Dead Men's Love. (In his Collected Poems. 1918.)

     There was a damned successful Poet.
         There was a Woman like the sun.
     And they were dead. They did not know it.
         They did not know their time was done.

---- Hauntings.

     So a poor ghost, beside his misty streams,
     Is haunted by strange doubts, evasive dreams.

=Burnet=, Dana. Ballad of the Late John Flint. (In his Poems. 1915.)

     The Bridegroom smiled a twisted smile,
     "The wine is strong," he said.
     The Bride she twirled her wedding ring
     Nor lifted up her head;
     And there were three at John Flint's board,
     And one of them was dead.

=Campbell=, William Wilfred. The Mother. (In John W. Garvin's Canadian
Poets and Poetry.)

     I dreamed that a rose-leaf hand did cling;
     Oh, you cannot bury a mother in spring!
     .    .     .     .     .     .     .     .
     I nestled him soft to my throbbing breast,
     And stole me back to my long, long rest.

---- The Were-wolves. (In Stedman's Victorian Anthology.)

     Each panter in the darkness
     Is a demon-haunted soul,
     The shadowy, phantom were-wolves
     That circle round the pole.

=Carman=, Bliss. The Nancy's Pride. (In his Ballads of Lost Haven.)

     Her crew lean forth by the rotting shrouds
     With the Judgment in their face;
     And to their mates' "God save you!"
     Have never a word of grace.

---- The Yule Guest. (In Ballads of Lost Haven.)

     But in the Yule, O Yanna,
     Up from the round dim sea
     And reeling dungeons of the fog,
     I am come back to thee!

=Chalmers=, Patrick R. The Little Ghost. (In his Green Days and Blue

     Down the long path, beset
     With heaven-scented, haunting mignonette,
         The gardeners say
         A little grey
     Ghost-lady walks!

=Colum=, Padraic. The Ballad of Downal Baun. (In Wild Earth and Other

     "O dream-taught man," said the woman--
     She stood where the willows grew,
     A woman from the country
     Where the cocks never crew.

=Couch=, Arthur Quiller-. Dolor Oogo. (In John Masefield's A Sailor's

     Thirteen men by Ruan Shore,
         Dolor Oogo, Dolor Oogo,
     Drownèd men since 'eighty-four
         Down in Dolor Oogo:
     On the cliff against the sky,
     Ailsa, wife of Malachi
         That cold woman--
     Sits and knits eternally.

=De La Mare=, Walter. The Keys of Morning. (In his The Listeners.)

     She slanted her small bead-brown eyes
     Across the empty street
     And saw Death softly watching her
     In the sunshine pale and sweet.

---- The Listeners.

     But only a host of phantom listeners
     That dwelt in the lone house then
     Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
     To that voice from the world of men:
     Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair
     That goes down to the empty hall,
     Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
     By the lonely Traveller's call.

---- The Witch.

     All of these dead were stirring
         Each unto each did call,
     "A witch, a witch is sleeping
         Under the churchyard wall."

=Dollard=, Father. Ballad of the Banshee. (In J. W. Garvin's Canadian
Poets and Poetry.)

     Mother of mercy! there she sat,
         A woman clad in a snow-white shroud,
     Streamed her hair to the damp moss-mat,
         White the face on her bosom bowed!

=Fletcher=, John Gould. The Ghosts of an Old House. (In his Goblins and

     Yet I often wonder
     If these things are really dead.
     If the old trunks never open
     Letting out grey flapping things at twilight.
     If it is all as safe and dull
     As it seems?

=Furlong=, Alice. The Warnings. (In Padric Gregory's Modern Anglo-Irish

     I was weaving by the door-post, when I heard the Death-Watch beating;
         And I signed the Cross upon me, and I spoke the Name of Three.
     High and fair, through cloud and air, a silver moon was fleeting,
         But the night began to darken as the Death-Watch beat for me.

=Gibson=, Wilfrid Wilson. The Blind Rower. (In his Collected Poems. 1917.)

     Some say they saw the dead man steer--
     The dead man steer the blind man home--
     Though, when they found him dead,
     His hand was cold as lead.

---- Comrades.

     As I was marching in Flanders
     A ghost kept step with me--
     Kept step with me and chuckled,
     And muttered ceaselessly.

---- The Lodging House.

     And when at last I stand outside
     My garret door I hardly dare
     To open it,
     Lest when I fling it wide
     With candle lit
     And reading in my only chair
     I find myself already there.

=Hagedorn=, Hermann. The Last Faring. (In Poems and Ballads.)


     Into the storm he drives! Full is the sail;
     But the wind blows wilder and shriller!

     THE SON

     'Tis the ghost of a Sea-King, my father, rigid and pale,
     That holds so firm the tiller!

---- The Cobbler of Glamorgan.

     He coughed, he turned; and crystal-eyed
     He stared, for the bolted door stood wide,
     And on the threshold, faint and grand,
     He saw the awful Gray Man stand.
     His flesh was a thousand snails that crept,
     But his face was calm though his pulses leapt.

=Herford=, Oliver. Ye Knyghte-mare. (In The Bashful Earthquake.)

     Ye log burns dimme, and eke more dimme,
     Loud groans each knyghtlie gueste,
     As ye ghost of his grandmother, gaunt and grimme,
     Sits on each knyghte hys cheste.

=Kilmer=, Joyce. The White Ships and the Red. (In W. S. Braithwaite's
Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1915.)

     The red ship is the Lusitania. "She goes to the bottom all in
     red to join all the other dead ships, which are in white."

=Le Gallienne=, Richard. Ballad of the Dead Lover. (In his New Poems.

     She took his head upon her knee
     And called him love and very fair.
     And with a golden comb she combed
     The grave-dust from his hair.

=Lowell=, Amy. The Crossroads. (In her Men, Women, and Ghosts.)

     In polyphonic prose. The body buried at the crossroads
     struggles for twenty years to free itself of the stake driven
     through its heart and wreak vengeance on its enemy. It is
     finally successful as the funeral cortège of this enemy comes
     down the road.

     "He wavers like smoke in the buffeting wind. His fingers blow
     out like smoke, his head ripples in the gale. Under the sign
     post, in the pouring rain, he stands, and watches another
     quavering figure drifting down the Wayfleet road. Then swiftly
     he streams after it. . ."

=Marquis=, Don. Haunted. (In his Dreams and Dust.)

     Drink and forget, make merry and boast,
     But the boast rings false and the jest is thin.
     In the hour that I meet ye ghost to ghost,
     Stripped of the flesh that ye skulk within,
     Stripped to the coward soul 'ware of its sin,
     Ye shall learn, ye shall learn, whether dead men hate!

=Masefield=, John. Cape Horn Gospel. (In his Collected Poems. 1918.)

     "I'm a-weary of them there mermaids,"
         Says old Bill's ghost to me,
     "It ain't no place for Christians,
         Below there, under sea.
     For it's all blown sands and shipwrecks
         And old bones eaten bare,
     And them cold fishy females
         With long green weeds for hair."

---- Mother Carey.

     She lives upon an iceberg to the norred
         'N' her man is Davy Jones,
     'N' she combs the weeds upon her forred
         With poor drowned sailors' bones.

=Maynard=, Winifred. Saint Catherine. (In The Book of Winifred Maynard.)

     . . . "Saint Catherine," in which the spotless virginity of the
     saint is made ashamed by the pitiful ghosts, who whisper their
     humanity to her in a dream.--_William Stanley Braithwaite._

=Middleton=, Jesse Edgar. Off Heligoland. (In his Seadogs and

     Ghostly ships in a ghostly sea. . .

=Millay=, Edna St. Vincent. The Little Ghost. (In her Renascence.)

     I knew her for a little ghost
         That in my garden walked;
     The wall is high--higher than most--
         And the green gate was locked.

=Monroe=, Harriet. The Legend of Pass Christian. (In her You and I.)

     Now we, who wait one night a year
         Under these branches long,
     May see a flaming ship, and hear
         The echo of a song.

=Noyes=, Alfred. The Admiral's Ghost. (In his Collected Poems. 1913.)

---- A Song of Sherwood.

     The dead are coming back again, the years are rolled away,
     In Sherwood, in Sherwood, about the break of day.

=Scollard=, Clinton. A Ballad of Hallowmass. (In his Ballads Patriotic and

     It happed at the time of Hallowmass, when the dead may walk
     That the wraith of Ralph of the Peaceful Heart went forth from
         the courts of God.

=Seeger=, Alan. Broceliande. (In his Poems. 1917.)

     Untroubled, untouched by the woes of this world are the
         moon-marshalled hosts that invade

=Shorter=, Dora Sigerson. All Souls' Night. (In Stedman's Victorian

     . . . Deelish! Deelish! My woe forever that I could not sever
         coward flesh from fear.
     I called his name and the pale ghost came; but I was afraid to
         meet my dear.

=Sterling=, George. A Wine of Wizardry. (In A Wine of Wizardry and Other
Poems. 1909.)

     And, ere the tomb-thrown mutterings have ceased,
     The blue-eyed vampire, sated at her feast,
     Smiles bloodily against the leprous moon.

=Widdemer=, Margaret. The Forgotten Soul. (In her The Factories.)

     'Twas I that stood to greet you on the churchyard pave--
         (O fire o' my heart's grief, how could you never see?)
     You smiled in pleasant dreaming as you crossed my grave
         And crooned a little love-song where they buried me!

---- The House of Ghosts.

     Out from the House of Ghosts I fled
         Lest I should turn and see
     The child I had been lift her head
         And stare aghast at me.

=Yeats=, William Butler. The Ballad of Father Gilligan. (In Burton
Stevenson's The Home Book of Verse.)

     How an angel obligingly took upon itself the form and
     performed the duties of Father Gilligan while the father was
     asleep at his post.

---- The Host of the Air.

     Based upon a scrap of folklore in "The Celtic Twilight" and
     apparently among the simplest of his poems, nothing he has
     ever done shows a greater mastery of atmosphere, or a greater
     metrical mastery.--_Forrest Reid._

     He heard, while he sang and dreamed,
         A piper piping away,
     And never was piping so sad,
         And never was piping so gay.


     "_From Ghaisties, Ghoulies, and long-leggity Beasties
     and Things that go Bump in the night--
     Good Lord, deliver us._"

The ballads that follow have all been selected from The Oxford Book of
Ballads, edited by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. Clarendon Press, Oxford,

Alison Gross.

     She's turned me into an ugly worm
     And gar'd me toddle about the tree.

Clerk Saunders.

     The most notable of the ballads of the supernatural, from the
     dramatic quality of its story and a certain wild pathos in its

     "Is there ony room at your head, Saunders,
     Is there ony room at your feet?
     Or ony room at your side, Saunders,
     Where fain, fain I wad sleep?"

The Daemon Lover.

     And aye as she turned her round about,
     Aye taller he seemed to be;
     Until that the tops o' that gallant ship
     Nae taller were than he.

King Henry.

     O he has doen him to his ha'
     To make him bierly cheer,
     An' in it came a griesly ghost
     Steed stappin' i' the fleer.

The Laily Worm.

     For she has made me the laily worm,
     That lies at the fit o' the tree,
     And my sister Masery she's made
     The machrel of the sea.

A Lyke-wake Dirge.

     This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
         --Every nighte and alle,
     Fire and sleet and candle-lighte,
         And Christ receive thy saule.

Tam Lin.

     And pleasant is the fairy land
         For those that in it dwell,
     But ay at end of seven years
         They pay a teind to hell;
     I am sae fair and fu' of flesh
         I'm fear'd 'twill be mysell.

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