The Haunted Hour eBook

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

If I stir he vanishes;
  If I speak he flits away;
If I lie in utter silence,
  He will sit for hours and play;

Play old wailing minor airs,
  Melancholy, wild and slow,
Such, mayhap, as pleased the maidens
  Of a hundred years ago.

All in vain I wait to hear
  Ghostly histories of wrong
Unconfessed and unforgiven,
  Unavenged and suffered long;

Not a story does he tell,
  Not a single word he says—­
Only sits and gazes at me
  Steadily, and plays and plays.

Who is he, my midnight guest? 
  Wherefore does he haunt me so;
Coming from the misty shadows
  Of a hundred years ago?


See!  He trails his toes
Through the long streaks of moonlight,
And the nails of his fingers glitter;
They claw and flash among the tree-tops. 
His lips suck at my open window,
And his breath creeps about my body
And lies in pools under my knees. 
I can see his mouth sway and wobble,
Sticking itself against the window-jambs,
But the moonlight is bright on the floor,
Without a shadow. 
Hark!  A hare is strangling in the forest,
And the wind tears a shutter from the wall.


Some one is always sitting there,
                        In the little green orchard;
      Even when the sun is high
      In noon’s unclouded sky,
      And faintly droning goes
      The bee from rose to rose,
Some one in shadow is sitting there,
                        In the little green orchard.

Yes, and when twilight’s falling softly
                        On the little green orchard;
      When the gray dew distils
      And every flower cup fills;
      When the last blackbird says,
      “What—­what!” and goes her way—­ssh! 
I have heard voices calling softly
                        In the little green orchard.

Not that I am afraid of being there,
                        In the little green orchard;
      Why, when the moon’s been bright,
      Shedding her lonesome light,
      And moths like ghosties come,
      And the horned snail leaves home: 
I’ve stayed there, whispering and listening there,
                        In the little green orchard.

Only it’s strange to be feeling there,
                        In the little green orchard;
      Whether you paint or draw,
      Dig, hammer, chop or saw,
When you are most alone,
      All but the silence gone ... 
Some one is waiting and watching there,
                        In the little green orchard.


What are you, fireflies,
That come as daylight dies? 
Are you the old, old dead,
Creeping through the long grass,
To see the green leaves move
And feel the light wind pass?

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