The Haunted Hour eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 165 pages of information about The Haunted Hour.

“O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
        And call the cattle home,
        And call the cattle home,
      Across the sands of Dee!”
The western wind was wild and dank wi’ foam,
      And all alone went she.

The western tide crept up along the sand,
        And o’er and o’er the sand,
        And round and round the sand,
      As far as eye could see. 
The rolling mist came down and hid the land—­
      And never home came she.

“Oh, is it weed, or fish, or floating hair—­
        A tress of golden hair,
        A drowned maiden’s hair
      Above the nets at sea? 
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair,
      Among the stakes of Dee.”

They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
        The cruel, crawling foam,
        The cruel, hungry foam,
      To her grave beside the sea,
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home,
      Across the sands of Dee!


“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 white canoe.

And her firefly lamp I soon shall see,
    And her paddle I soon shall hear;
Long and loving our life shall be,
And I’ll hide the maid in a cypress-tree,
    When the footstep of death is near!”

Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds,—­
    His path was rugged and sore,
Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds,
Through many a fen where the serpent feeds,
    And man never trod before!

And when on the earth he sunk to sleep,
    If slumber his eyelids knew,
He lay where the deadly vine doth weep
Its venomous tear, and nightly steep
    The flesh with blistering dew!

And near him the she-wolf stirred the brake,
    And the copper-snake breathed in his ear,
Till he starting cried, from his dream awake,
“Oh, when shall I see the dusky Lake,
    And the white canoe of my dear?”

He saw the Lake, and a meteor bright
    Quick over its surface played,—­
“Welcome,” he said, “my dear one’s light!”
And the dim shore echoed for many a night,
    The name of the death-cold maid!

He hollowed a boat of the birchen bark,
    Which carried him off from shore;
Far he followed the meteor spark,
The wind was high and the clouds were dark,
    And the boat returned no more.

But oft from the Indian hunter’s camp,
    This lover and maid so true,
Are seen at the hour of midnight damp,
To cross the lake by a firefly lamp,
    And paddle their white canoe!


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

Project Gutenberg
The Haunted Hour from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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