The Haunted Hour eBook

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

And suddenly, when fear and doubt
  Had shaken every heart,
There stepped an unknown actress out,
  To take the heroine’s part.

But oh, the magic of her face,
  And oh the songs she sung,
And oh the rapture of the place,
  And oh the flowers they flung!

But she never stooped:  they lay all night,
  As when she turned away,
And left them—­and the saddest light
  Shone in her eyes of grey.

She gave a smile in glancing round,
  And sighed, one fancied, then—­
But never they knew where she was bound,
  Or saw her face again,

But the old prompter, grey and frail,
 They heard him murmur low,
“It only could be Meg Coverdale,
  Died thirty years ago,

“In that old part, who took the town;
  And she was fair, as fair
As when they shut the coffin down
  On the gleam of her golden hair;

“And it wasn’t hard to understand
  How a lass as fair as she
Could never rest in the Promised Land,
  Where none but angels be.”


After all the house is dark,
  And the last soft step is still,
And the elm-bough’s clear-cut shadow
  Flickers on the window sill—­

When the village lights are out,
  And the watch-dogs all asleep,
And the misty silver radiance
  Makes the shade look black and deep—­

When, so silent is the night,
  Not a dead leaf dares to fall,
And I only hear the death-watch
  Ticking, ticking in the wall—­

When no hidden mouse dares gnaw
  At the silence dead and dumb,
And the very air seems waiting
  For a Something that should come—­

Suddenly, there stands my guest,
  Whence he came I cannot see;
Not a door has swung before him,
  Not a hand touched latch or key,

Not a rustle stirred the air;
  Yet he stands there, brave and mute,
In his eyes a look of greeting,
  In his hand an old-time flute.

Then, with all the courtly grace
  Of the old Colonial school,
From the curtain-shadowed corner
  Forth he draws a three-legged stool—­

(Ah, it was not there before! 
  Search as closely as I may,
I can never, never find it
  When I look for it by day!)

Places it beside my bed,
  And while silently I gaze
Spell-bound by his mystic presence,
  Seats himself thereon and plays.

Gracious, stately, grave and tall,
  Always dressed from crown to toe
In the quaint elaborate fashion
  Of a hundred years ago.

Doublet, small-clothes, silk-clocked hose;
  Wears my midnight melodist,
Snowy ruffles in his bosom,
  Snowy ruffles at his wrist.

Silver buckle at his knee,
  Silver buckle on his shoe;
Powdered hair smoothed back and plaited
  In a stiff old-fashioned queue.

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