“Why do’st thou glare? Why do’st
That fatal cursed knife?
The deed is done, and from the grave
Who can recall to life?
“Why rolls thine eye beneath thy brow,
Dark as the midnight storm?
What do’st thou want? O, let me know!
But hide thy dreadful form.
“I’d give the life’s blood from
To wash my crime away:
If thou’rt a spirit, O, depart!
Nor haunt a wretch of clay.
“Say, do’st thou with the blessed dwell?
Return and blessed be!
Or com’st thou from the lowest hell?
I am more curst than thee.”
The form advanc’d with solemn step,
As though it meant to speak;
And thrice it mov’d its mutt’ring lip,
But silence did not break.
Then sternly stalk’d with heavy pace,
Which shook the trembling wall;
And, frowning, turn’d its angry face,
And vanish’d from the hall.
With fixed eyes, pale Conrad stood,
That from their sockets swell;
Back on his heart ran the cold blood,
He shudder’d as he fell.
Night fled, and thro’ the window ’gan
The early light to play;
But on a more unhappy man
Ne’er shone the dawning day.
The gladsome sun all nature cheers,
But cannot charm his cares:
Still dwells his mind with gloomy fears,
And murther’d Edward glares.
“No rest nor comfort can I find,
I watch the midnight hour;
I sit and listen to the wind
Which beats upon my tower.
“Methinks low voices from the ground
Break mournful on mine ear,
And thro’ these empty chambers sound
So dismal and so drear.
“The ghost of some departed friend
Doth in my sorrows share;
Or is it but the rushing wind
That mocketh my despair.
“Sad thro’ the hall the pale lamp gleams
Upon my father’s arms:
My soul is fill’d with gloomy dreams,
I fear unknown alarms.
“Oh! I have known this lonely place
With ev’ry blessing stor’d;
And many a friend with cheerful face
Sit smiling at my board,
“Whilst round the fire, in early bloom,
My harmless children play’d,
Who now within the narrow tomb
Are with their mother laid.
“And now low bends my wretched head,
And those I lov’d are gone:
My friends, my family, all are fled,
And I am left alone.
“Oft’ as the cheerless fire declines,
In it I sadly trace,
As ’lone I sit, the half form’d lines
Of many a much lov’d face.
“But chief, O Marg’ret! to my mind
Thy lovely features rise:
I strive to think thee less unkind,
And wipe my streaming eyes.
“For only thee I had to vaunt,
Thou wert thy mother’s pride:
She left thee like a shooting plant
To screen my widow’d side.