The Shadows of the Night.
Come floating 'round my open door,
I ofttimes think of the departed,
Those who have gone to the other shore.
When the sound of rustling robes
Falls gently on my ear;
And light comes streaming through the darkness,
Down from the celestial atmosphere.
And those I loved so dearly
Come flitting through the gloom,
To trim the burning taper
Dimly burning at the tomb.
Then the voices of the night
Mingle with the flow of time,
In a sort of solemn cadence,
Like the ghastly mariner's rhyme.
And the whisperings of Death
Create a feverish chill,
Rising from the meadow
Over the woodland and the hill.
Then I seem to catch the sound
Of some silvery chiming bell,
Floating through the darkness
From lands where fleshless mortals dwell,
And I hear the dashing wave
Break on the nearing strand;
As I wander onward
To the fair, appointed land.
In my imagination, then,
I hear the grating keel
Of Charon's boat, as he helps on board
His human cargo, with hand of steel.
__John Preston Canpell.
John Preston Canpell
(Topeka: Geo. W. Crane & Company. 1885)