Like early dew, or hoary frost,
Spent with the beaming day,
So shrunk the pale and wat’ry ghost,
And dimly wore away.
No longer Marg’ret felt the storm,
She bow’d her lovely head;
And with her lover’s fleeting form,
Her gentle spirit fled.
Loud roars the wind that shakes this wall;
It is no common blast:
Deep hollow sounds pass thro’ my hall,
O would the night were past!
“Methinks the daemons of the air
Upon the turrets growl;
While down the empty winding stair
Their deep’ning murmurs roll.
“The glimm’ring fire cheers not the gloom:
How blue its weakly ray!
And like a taper in a tomb,
But spreads the more dismay.
“Athwart its melancholy light
The lengthen’d shadow falls:
My grandsires, to my troubled sight,
Low’r on me from these walls.
“Methinks yon angry warrior’s head
Doth in its casement frown,
And darts a look, as if it said,
Where hast thou laid my son?
“But will these fancies never cease?
O, would the night were run!
My troubled soul can find no peace,
But with the morning sun.
“Vain hope! the guilty never rest;
Dismay is always near:
There is a midnight in the breast
No morn shall ever cheer.
“The weary hind is now at rest,
Tho’ lowly is his head,
How sweetly lies the guiltless breast,
Upon the hardest bed!
“The beggar, in his wretched haunt,
May now a monarch be;
Forget his woe, forget his want,
For all can sleep but me.
“I’ve dar’d whate’er the boldest
Then why this childish dread;
I never fear’d a living man,
And shall I fear the dead!
“No, whistling storms may shake my tower,
And passing spirits scream:
Their shadowy arms are void of power,
And but a gloomy dream.
“But, lo! a form advancing slow
Across my dusky hall!
Art thou a friend? art thou a foe?
O, answer to my call!”
Still nearer to the glimm’ring light
The tow’ring figure strode,
Till full, and horrid to the sight,
The murther’d Edward stood.
His hand a broken dagger sway’d,
Like Time’s dark threat’ning dart;
And pointed to the rugged blade
That quiver’d in his heart.
The blood still trickled from his head,
And clotted was his hair,
That on his manly shoulders spread;
His mangled breast was bare.
His face was like the muddy sky
Before the coming snow;
And dark and dreadful was his eye,
And cloudy was his brow.
Pale Conrad shrunk, but grasp’d his sword;
Fear thrill’d in ev’ry vein;
His quiv’ring lip half-spoke its word;
He paus’d, and shrunk again.
“Pale bloody spectre, at this hour
Why do’st thou haunt the night?
Has the deep gloomy vault no power
To keep thee from my sight?