GHOSTS
by Robert Seymour Bridges


Mazing around my mind like moths at a shaded candle,
In my heart like lost bats in a cave fluttering,
Mock ye the charm whereby I thought reverently to lay you,
When to the wall I nail'd your reticent effigys ?
WILL-O'-THE-WISP
by Christine Hamilton Watson


Alas, my fond desire is "Will-o'-the-Wisp"!
He holds me charmed with glimmer clear and crisp,
Yet teases me with his elusive wile,
Which frees me, only backward to beguile.

A phantom "Will-o'-the-Wisp" is my desire!
I reach for its reflected light, but higher,
Now here, now there, it dances in my eyes,
Dazzling and blinding—then away it flies.

Oh deep desire, oh haunting "Will-o'-the-Wisp",
With those sweet hopes and longings that you lisp,
Torment me not with your evasive spell,
Release me, please, till I charm you as well!
WEBS
by Abbie Farwell Brown


Oh, they spread out their silver webs
Upon the moonlit grass,
Their wee bright webs of faerie,
To catch the Dreams that pass.

The wistful dream that stole from me
And crept away to you,
They tangled it in glistering knots
Of witchery and dew.

And whisht! Your bashful little thought,
So innocent and bright,
Got trapped in that same silver web
And kept with mine all night.

Then ah! Whatever shall we do
Upon to-morrow day,
Our dreams are snared together so
And cannot slip away?
AUTUMN EVEN-SONG
by George Meredith


The long cloud edged with streaming grey
Soars from the West;
The red leaf mounts with it away,
Showing the nest
A blot among the branches bare:
There is a cry of outcasts in the air.

Swift little breezes, darting chill,
Pant down the lake;
A crow flies from the yellow hill,
And in its wake
A baffled line of labouring rooks:
Steel-surfaced to the light the river looks.

Pale on the panes of the old hall
Gleams the lone space
Between the sunset and the squall;
And on its face
Mournfully glimmers to the last:
Great oaks grow mighty minstrels in the blast.

Pale the rain-rutted roadways shine
In the green light
Behind the cedar and the pine:
Come, thundering night!
Blacken broad earth with hoards of storm :
For me yon valley-cottage beckons warm.
AUTUMN
by George Meredith


When nuts behind the hazel-leaf
Are brown as the squirrel that hunts them free,
And the fields are rich with the sun-burnt sheaf,
'Mid the blue cornflower and the yellowing tree;
And the farmer glows and beams in his glee;

O then is the season to wed thee a bride!
Ere the garners are filled and the ale-cups foam;
For a smiling hostess is the pride
And flower of every Harvest Home.
AUTUMN LEAVES
by Donald MacDonald


Poor autumn leaves : summer has fled;
Your short-lived hours of life are o'er,
And now ye fall to rise no more,
But on the ground lie withered.

Poor autumn leaves : mark how they fall;
Not in thick clusters as they grow
Upon the parent stem ; ah, no,
But one by one they drop off all.

"Brother mine," each says to me;
"Though now thy summer's sun doth shine
When autumn comes, our fate is thine;
Alone thou must meet death as we."

Poor falling leaves, 'tis true ye say :
Like ye I am a thing of dust,
And in the autumn fall I must:
But not like ye, to die for aye.

I have a hope again to bloom
Beneath a fairer sun than this,
Where all is happiness and bliss—
That happy land beyond the tomb.
THE PHANTOM
by Walter de la Mare


Wilt thou never come again,
    Beauteous one?
Yet the woods are green and dim,
Yet the birds' deluding cry
Echoes in the hollow sky,
Yet the falling waters brim
The clear pool which thou wast fain
To paint thy lovely cheek upon,
    Beauteous one!

I may see the thorny rose
    Stir and wake
The dark dewdrop on her gold;
But thy secret will she keep
Half-divulged—yet all untold,
Since a child's heart woke from sleep.

The faltering sunbeam fades and goes ;
The night-bird whistles in the brake ;
    The willows quake ;
Utter darkness falls ; the wind
    Sighs no more :

Yet it seems the silence yearns
But to catch thy fleeting foot.
Yet the wandering glowworm burns
Lest her lamp should light thee not—
Thee whom I shall never find.
Though thy shadow lean before,
Thou thyself return'st no more—
    Never more.

All the world's woods, tree o'er tree,
    Come to nought.
Birds, flow'rs, beasts, how transient they !—
Angels of a flying day ;
Love is quenched ; dreams drown in sleep ;
Ruin nods along the deep :
Only thou immortally
    Hauntest on
This poor earth in Time's flux caught;
Hauntest on, pursued—unwon,
Phantom child of memory,
    Beauteous one!
JACK O' LANTERN
by Pamela Grey


When Lady-Day one year we moved
To leave the house we dearly loved
We packed our things and all our ware
A toweren waggon-load of gear
And off we started down the road
With two strong mares to draw the load.
But having neither cage nor bin
To put our wing-clipped Jackdaw in
Father, he fetch'd our lantern out
And that's what made the folk to shout—

"Why there goes Jack o' Lantern!
We've heerd of Jack o' Lantern
But never thought to see 'un—No!
Not see a Jack o' Lantern."

Dear, what a sight it were!—the chairs
Were corded to the sides in pairs.
The clock sewn up in canvas bag
Was stitched agin' the sofa lag.
The chest of drawers stuffed fit to crack
Was wedged in 'long with Father's sack.
Tables, with all their lags in air
Made room for boxes and to spare.
While pots and pans and tins and pails
Went swingen on a score of nails—

Along of Jack o' Lantern
And "look at Jack o' Lantern"
The mothers to the children cry
"Come out! see Jack o' Lantern."

And now the Time be flyen fast.
But often looken down the Past
I mind me of the home we left
Familiar rooms o' life bereft.
The empty walls, the wide-flung sash
The hearth all thick wi' last night's ash.
I knew to Mother it were pain
To think she'd never see't again.
And yet wi' eyes but barely dry
She smiled to hear the children cry—

"O! look at Jack o'Lantern!
We've heerd of Jack o' Lantern
But never thought to see 'un—No!
A proper Jack o' Lantern."
ON KINGSTON BRIDGE
by Ellen M.H. Cortissoz


(On All Souls' Night the dead walk on Kingston Bridge.—Old Legend.)

On Kingston Bridge the starlight shone
    Through hurrying mists in shrouded glow;
The boding night-wind made its moan,
    The mighty river crept below.
    'Twas All Souls' Night, and to and fro
The quick and dead together walked,
The quick and dead together talked,
        On Kingston Bridge.

Two met who had not met for years;
Once was their hate too deep for fears:
One drew his rapier as he came,
Upleapt his anger like a flame.
With clash of mail he faced his foe,
And bade him stand and meet him so.
He felt a graveyard wind go by
Cold, cold as was his enemy.
    A stony horror held him fast.
The Dead looked with a ghastly stare,
    And sighed "I know thee not," and passed
Like to the mist, and left him there
        On Kingston Bridge.

'Twas All Souls' Night, and to and fro
The quick and dead together walked,
The quick and dead together talked,
        On Kingston Bridge.

Two met who had not met for years:
With grief that was too deep for tears
    They parted last.
He clasped her hand, and in her eyes
He sought Love's rapturous surprise.
"Oh, Sweet!" he cried, "hast thou come back
To say thou lov'st thy lover still?"
—Into the starlight, pale and cold,
She gazed afar—her hand was chill:
"Dost thou remember how we kept
Our ardent vigils?—how we kissed?—
Take thou these kisses as of old!"
    An icy wind about him swept;
"I know thee not," she sighed, and passed
    Into the dim and shrouding mist
        On Kingston Bridge.

'Twas All Souls' Night, and to and fro
The quick and dead together walked,
The quick and dead together talked,
        On Kingston Bridge.
GHOSTS
by Madison Cawein


Low, weed-climbed cliffs, o'er which at noon
The sea-mists swoon:
Wind-twisted pines, through which the crow
Goes winging slow:

Dim fields the sower never sows,
Or reaps or mows:
And near the sea a ghostly house of stone
Where all is old and lone.

A garden, falling in decay,
Where statues gray
Peer, broken, out of tangled weed
And thorny seed;

Satyr and Nymph, that once made love
By walk and grove:
And, near a fountain, shattered, green with mould,
A sundial, lichen-old.

Like some sad life bereft,
To musing left,
The house stands: love and youth
Both gone, in sooth:

But still it sits and dreams:
And round it seems
Some memory of the past, still young and fair,
Haunting each crumbling stair.

And suddenly one dimly sees,
Come through the trees,
A woman, like a wild moss-rose:
A man, who goes

Softly: and by the dial
They kiss a while:
Then drowsily the mists blow round them, wan,
And they like ghosts are gone.
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN OF THE TAPPAN ZEE
by Arthur Gutterman


On Tappan Zee a shroud of gray
    Is heavy, dank, and low.
And dimly gleams the beacon-ray
    Of white Pocantico.

No skipper braves old Hudson now
    Where Nyack's Headlands frown,
And safely moored is every prow
    Of drowsy Tarrytown;

Yet, clear as word of human lip,
    The river sends its shores
The rhythmic rullock-clank and drip
    Of even-rolling oars.

What rower plies a reckless oar
    With mist on flood and strand?
That Oarsman toils forevermore
    And ne'er shall reach the land.

***

Roystering, rollicking Ram van Dam,
Fond of a frolic and fond of a dram,
Fonder—yea, fonder, proclaims renown,—
Of Tryntje Bogardus of Tarrytown,
Leaves Spuyten Duyvil to roar his song!
Pull! For the current is sly and strong;
Nestles the robin and flies the bat.
Ho! for the frolic at Kakiat!

Merry, the sport at the quilting bee
Held at the farm on the Tappan Zee!
Jovial labor with quips and flings,
Dances with wonderful pigeon wings,
Twitter of maidens and clack of dames,
Honest flirtations and rousing games;
Platters of savory beef and brawn,
Buckets of treacle and good suppawn,
Oceans of cider, and beer in lakes,
Mountains of crullers and honey-cakes—
Such entertainment could never pall!
Rambout Van Dam took his fill of all;
Laughed with the wittiest, worked with a zest,
Danced with the prettiest, drank with the best.

Oh! that enjoyment should breed annoy!
Tryntje grew fickle or cold or coy;
Rambout, possessed of a jealous sprite,
Scowled like the sky on a stormy night,
Snarled a good-bye from his sullen throat,
Blustered away to his tugging boat.
After him hastened Jacobus Horn:
"Stay with us, Rambout, till Monday morn.
Soon in the east will the dawn be gray,
Rest from thy oars on the Sabbath Day."

Angrily Rambout van Dam ripped back:
"Dunder en Blitzen! du Schobbejak!
Preach to thy children! and let them know
Spite of the duyvil and thee, I'll row
Thousands of Sundays, if need there be,
Home o'er this ewig-vervlekte zee!"
Muttering curses, he headed south.
Jacob, astounded, with open mouth
Watched him receding, when—crash on crash
Volleyed the thunder! A hissing flash
Smote on the river! He looked again.
Rambout was gone from the sight of men!

***

Old Dunderberg with grumbling roar
    Hath warned the fog to flee,
But still that never-wearied oar
    Is heard on Tappan Zee.

A moon is closed on Hudson's breast
    And lanterns gem the town;
The phantom craft that may not rest
    Plies ever, up and down,

'Neath skies of blue and skies of gray,
    In spite of wind or tide,
Until the trump of Judgment Day—
    A sound—and naught beside.
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
by Charles Godfrey Leland


We met the Flying Dutchman,
    By midnight he came,
His hull was all of hell fire,
    His sails were all aflame;
Fire on the main-top,
    Fire on the bow,
Fire on the gun-deck,
    Fire down below.

Four-and-twenty dead men,
    Those were the crew,
The devil on the bowsprit,
    Fiddled as she flew,
We gave her the broadside,
    Right in the dip,
Just like a candle,
    Went out the ship.
AUTUMN'S GOLD
by George MacDonald

Along the tops of all the yellow trees,
  The golden-yellow trees, the sunshine lies;
  And where the leaves are gone, long rays surprise
Lone depths of thicket with their brightnesses;
And through the woods, all waste of many a breeze,
  Cometh more joy of light for Poet's eyes--
  Green fields lying yellow underneath the skies,
And shining houses and blue distances.

By the roadside, like rocks of golden ore
  That make the western river-beds so bright,
  The briar and the furze are all alight!
Perhaps the year will be so fair no more,
  But now the fallen, falling leaves are gay,
  And autumn old has shone into a Day!
AUTUMN
by Charlotte Oates


Golden harvest time is past.
Soon will blow the wintry blast,
    Autumn winds are sighing ;
Shorter grows the light of day,
Summers flowers have passed away.
    All its foliage dying.

Bright-hued leafage now we see
Ripe upon the forest tree,
    Quiv'ring, rich and mellow.
Changing is the woodland scene,
All that once was fresh and green,
    Turning red and yellow.

Nature now has lost its bloom,
All things blighted, tinged with gloom,
    Gone is Summer's gladness ;
Earthward fall the leaves away,
Where was life in now decay,
    Wrapped in dreamy sadness.

Stubble fields bereft of corn,
Looking barren and forlorn
    In the lonely gloaming.
We might weave a russet wreath
Of the scattered leaves beneath
    Trees no longer blooming.

We are trampling 'neath our feet
Nature's leafy carpet sweet,—
    On the ground reposing.
Peaceful Autumn, pensive, still,
Waits for Winter's touch to chill,
    Now her reign is closing.

Fruit is garnered : on the steep,
Web-entangled brambles creep,
    Autumn's fragrance flinging;
Yet some wild blackberries grow,
On those bushes trailing low,
    To the thorn-tree clinging.

Birds that trilled in Summer time,
Go to seek a warmer clime,
    O'er the wave retreating ;—
They that sung so sweetly here,
Leave us till another year,
    With the Autumn fleeting.

Mournful season of the year,
Withered herbage, brown and sere;
    Winter near advancing;
Ling'ring flowers no perfume shed,
Only nuts and berries red,
    Through the thicket glancing.

And a hazy veil hangs round,
Drooping slowly to the ground,
    In the swampy valleys :
All the fields look long and grey,
At the closing Autumn day,
    As the twilight tarries.

Keen east wind around us creeps,
See! the low'ring sky now weeps,
    Summer's thirst 'tis quenching :
Raindrops make in yonder pool
Eddies in the water cool,
    Woods and meadows drenching.

Wild ├ćolus tunes his lays,
Mourning o'er the bygone days,
    With a sad repining;—
Its sweet requiem chanting low,
For the Autumn's hectic glow,
    Shows the year's declining.

Nature heaves a weary sigh,
Now her Summer charms must die.
    To her couch she's creeping ;
Of all vernal beauty shorn
Is the garb she long has worn.
    She unrobes for sleeping.

How the swollen stream is sped!
O'er its clear and stony bed,
    Ever quickly flowing;
On, to meet the mighty sea.
Careless in its course so free,
    Whither it is going.

Wandering by grassy slopes,
Through the dingle and the copse
    And among the rushes ;
Onward, babbling streamlet flow.
Sweetly murm'ring, and thy low
    Music seldom hushes.

Riv'let giving life and sound,
To the landscape all around,
    Where the ferns are growing;
Winding where the twigs entwine
By the pastures, where the kine
    Seek it, gently lowing.

Winter soon will wave his hand-
Cast his spell o'er all the land.
    Trees their boughs be baring:
While we stroll the woods among,
Nature's kneeling, for her long
    Winter's sleep preparing.

Autumn-time I love the best,
When all Nature sinks to rest,
    Varied tints revealing;
So from lite, we too. must part.
Thus those tokens till my heart,
    With a solemn feeling.
AUTUMN
by Walter de la Mare


There is wind where the rose was ;
Cold rain where sweet grass was;
    And clouds like sheep
    Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.

Nought gold where your hair was ;
Nought warm where your hand was;
    But phantom, forlorn,
    Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.

Sad winds where your voice was;
Tears, tears where my heart was ;
    And ever with me,
    Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.

MACLISE & O'DOHERTY

Snap Apple Night by Daniel Maclise


There Peggy was dancing with Dan 
While Maureen the lead was melting, 
To prove how their fortunes ran 
With the Cards ould Nancy dealt in; 
There was Kate, and her sweet-heart Will, 
In nuts their true-love burning, 
And poor Norah, though smiling still 
She'd missed the snap-apple turning.
On the Festival of Hallow Eve.



ALL-HALLOW-EVE
by Morgan O'Doherty

[inspired by Snap Apple Night by Daniel Maclise]

For a portrait of this one, a portrait of that,
Looking down, looking up, or most vulgarly fat;
For such pictures I care not one brass penny-piece—
Give me beauty and fun, as combined by MacClise.
    Where the grace and the good-humoured spirit,
    That in the Green Isle they inherit,
    Are depicted with vigorous merit,
        Assembled on All-Hallow-eve.

Of all days in the year, none's like All-Hallow-eve
For poteen and sweethearts—and if they deceive.
Why, sorrow go with them! —we'll trust that next year
Will bring us more luck, if it brings not more cheer.
    With the snap-apple merrily turning,
    With the hoarded nut pleasantly burning,
    While the feet on the floor all go churning,
        To celebrate All-Hallow-e'en.

There Norah, like Eve, while the apple she eyed,
Saw temptation in Tim, serpent-like at her side ;
"The red rover," Mick mouthed, as it came from the lass ;
And the candle Con caught, while the pippin did pass.
    Then such laughing, and quaffing, and squalling.
    Such romping, and ranting, and mauling,
    With whistling, and singing, and bawling,
        To celebrate All-Hallow-eve.

There stood Nancy and Willy the sailor together.
Burning nuts in a nook, safe from wind and from weather ;
And if fairly they burn, it will certainly prove
That their hearts, like the kernels, were glowing—with love.
    "That is my nut," cried Willy, so sprightly;
    "See, 'tis burning quite purely and brightly—
    It says I love daily and nightly.
        This truth-telling All-Hallow-eve."

Old Mauriah now drew her seeshteen to the fi-er,
And Patrick and Sheelah their places took by her;
The cards are displayed, and the cut is well made-
Diamonds, hearts, kings and queens, but no ill-omened spade,
    "My diamond, my sweetheart, my queen!
    Love and riches such auguries mean—
    Believe it, the truth will be seen
        This fortunate All-Hallow-eve."

Next was melted the lead, and young Kate did essay
In the water to pour it, through the bow of a key;
But falsely it fell, as sly Kathleen could tell—
Though it lay just like truth in the depth of a well.
    For it gave her a hump-backed shoemaker,
    One eye, and half swaddler, half quaker.
    So she vowed that wild Barney should take her
        Ere the melting on next Hallow-eve.

That old subject of discord, an apple, being thrown
In a tub full of water, 'twixt Nelly and Joan,
To catch it they dip over face, neck, and ears;
And they laugh, though like Niobe covered with tears.
    Then the boys, with mouths and necks straining,
    While hair, nose, and eye-lash, are raining,
    Snap and dive, without ever complaining,
        For apples on All-Hallow eve.

Then Dermod, the fighter, smart Mary led out,
And neatly she trips, as he foots it about;
And smack go his lingers, and smack go his lips,
As she covers the buckle, with hands on her hips.
    Now up to each other advancing,
    Now figuring, capering, prancing —
    Sure never was seen such dancing;
        O glory to All-Hallow-eve!

This was all very well, till the piper, in fun,
Said his elbow and bellows both fairly were done;
His windpipe, his drone, and his chanter were dry,
His heart in a flame, and his throat in a fry.
    Then they drank, and they still called for "more, boys!"
    And whisky came pouring galore, boys;
    While they shouted with all their hearts' core, boys,
        A welcome to All-Hallow-eve.

Nooks and corners, though shady, still served for to shew
Each lad had his lass, and each belle had her beau.
For warm looks and warm hearts, hot love and hot hands,
Hot speeches, hot heads—Ireland's land of all lands!
    Some pressing the girls—to drinking ;
    Some kissing—some only a-winking;
    Some laughing—but all on love thinking,
        On October's last day, Hallow-eve.