The Haunted Hour eBook

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

“O mother, come and take your rest,
  Since Evan stays so late;
If we leave the door unbarred for him,
  What need to sit and wait?”

“Now hold your peace, my daughter,
  Be still and let me be,
I will not seek my bed this night
  Until my son I see.”

And she has left the door unbarred,
  And by the fire sat still;
She drew her mantle her about
  As the winter night grew chill.

The moon had set beyond the moor,
  And half the night had gone,
When standing silent by her side
  She saw Evan her son.

“I did not hear your step, Evan,
  Nor hear you lift the pin.” 
“I would not wake my sister, mother,
  So softly I came in.”

“Now sit ye down and rest, Evan,
  And I will give you meat.” 
“I have been with my cousin John, mother,
  And he gave me to eat.”

“Then have ye laid the quarrel by
  That was ’twixt him and you,
And given each other pledge of faith
  Ye will be friends anew?”

“We have laid the quarrel by, mother,
  Forevermore to sleep,
And he has given me his knife,
  As pledge of faith to keep.”

“O is it blood or is it rust
  That makes the knife so red,
Or is it but the red firelight
  That’s shining on the blade?”

“No rust is on the blade, mother,
  Nor the firelight’s ruddy hue;
The bright blood ran upon the knife
  To seal our compact true.”

“O is it with the pale gray gleam
  That comes before the dawn,
Or are ye weary with the road
  That ye look so ghastly wan?”

“A long and weary road, mother,
  I fared to reach my home,
And I must get me to my bed
  That waits for me to come.”

“The night is bitter cold, Evan,
  See that your bed be warm,
And take your plaid to cover you,
  Lest the cold should do you harm.”

“Yes, cold, cold is the night, mother,
  Yet soundly do I rest,
With the bleak North wind to cover me,
  And the snow white on my breast.”


Thrice in the night the priest arose
From broken sleep to kneel and pray. 
“Hush, poor ghost, till the red cock crows,
And I a Mass for your soul may say.”

Thrice he went to the chamber cold
Where, stiff and still uncoffined
His brother lay, his beads he told,
And “Rest, poor spirit, rest,” he said.

Thrice lay the old priest down to sleep
Before the morning bell should toll;
But still he heard—­and woke to weep—­
The crying of his brother’s soul.

All through the dark, till dawn was pale,
The priest tossed in his misery,
With muffled ears to hide the wail
The voice of that ghost’s agony.

At last the red cock flaps his wings,
To trumpet of a day new born. 
The lark, awaking, soaring, sings
Into the bosom of the morn.

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