The Haunted Hour eBook

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

I scrambled down to the brookside and hunted all
There wasn’t a sign of a fisherman; there wasn’t a sign of
    a trout. 
But I heard somebody chuckle behind the hollow oak
And I got a whiff of tobacco like Lilly used to smoke.

It’s fifteen years, they tell me, since anyone fished that
And there’s nothing in it but minnows that nibble the
    bait off your hook. 
But before the sun has risen and after the moon has set
I know that it’s full of ghostly trout for Lilly’s ghost to get.

I guess I’ll go to the tavern and get a bottle of rye
And leave it down by the hollow oak, where Lilly’s ghost went by. 
I meant to go up on the hillside and try to find his grave
And put some flowers on it—­but this will be better for Dave.


When I am tired of earnest men,
  Intense and keen and sharp and clever,
Pursuing fame with brush or pen,
  Or counting metal disks forever,
Then from the halls of Shadowland,
  Beyond the trackless purple sea,
Old Martin’s ghost comes back to stand
  Beside my desk and talk to me.

Still on his delicate pale face
  A quizzical thin smile is showing,
His cheeks are wrinkled like fine lace,
  His kind blue eyes are gay and glowing. 
He wears a brilliant-hued cravat,
  A suit to match his soft grey hair,
A rakish stick, a knowing hat,
  A manner blithe and debonair.

How good that he who always knew
  That being lovely was a duty,
Should have gold halls to wander through
  And should himself inhabit beauty. 
How like his old unselfish way
  To leave those halls of splendid mirth
And comfort those condemned to stay
  Upon the dull and sombre earth.

Some people ask:  “What cruel chance
  Made Martin’s life so sad a story?”
Martin?  Why, he exhaled romance,
  And wore an overcoat of glory. 
A fleck of sunlight in the street,
  A horse, a book, a girl who smiled,
Such visions made each moment sweet
  For this receptive ancient child.

Because it was old Martin’s lot
  To be, not make, a decoration,
Shall we then scorn him, having not
  His genius of appreciation? 
Rich joy and love he got and gave;
  His heart was merry as his dress;
Pile laurel wreaths upon his grave
  Who did not gain, but was, success!



“Is anybody there?” said the Traveller,
    Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
    Of the forest’s ferny floor: 
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
    Above the Traveller’s head: 
And he smote upon the door again the second time;
    “Is there anybody there?”

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