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Sandwich and Romney, Hastings, Hithe, and
Dover Were all alert that day, To see the French war-steamers speeding
Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,
Their cannon, through the night,
And now they roared at drum-beat from their
On every citadel;
And down the coast, all taking up the burden,
Replied the distant forts, As if to summon from his sleep the Warden
And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
Him shall no sunshine from the fields of azure,
No drum-beat from the wall, No morning gun from the black fort's embrasure,
Awaken with its call!
No more, surveying with an eye impartial
The long line of the coast, Shall the gaunt figure of the old Field Marshal
Be seen upon his post!
For in the night, unseen, a single warrior,
In sombre harness mailed, Dreaded of man, and surnamed the Destroyer,
The rampart wall has scaled.
He passed into the chamber of the sleeper,
The dark and silent room, And as he entered, darker grew, and deeper,
The silence and the gloom.
He did not pause to parley or dissemble,
But smote the Warden hoar; Ah! what a blow! that made all England
And groan from shore to shore.
Meanwhile, without, the surly cannon waited,
The sun rose bright o'erhead; Nothing in Nature's aspect intimated
That a great man was dead.
All houses wherein men have lived and died Are haunted houses. Through the open
doors The harmless phantoms on their errands glide, With feet that make no sound upon the
We meet them at the door-way, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go, Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.
There are more guests at table, than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
As silent as the pictures on the wall.
The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear; He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.
We have'no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
And hold in mortmain still their old es
The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere Wafts through these earthly mists and vapors
A vital breath of more ethereal air.