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ALL houses wherein men have lived and died Are haunted houses. Through the open
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
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
The stranger at my fireside cannot see
We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
The spirit-world around this world of sense Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere Wafts through these earthly mists and vapors dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.
Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires; The struggle of the instinct that enjoys, And the more noble instinct that aspires.
These perturbations, this perpetual jar
And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light, Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,
So from the world of spirits there descends
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.
IN THE CHURCHYARD AT CAMBRIDGE.
In the village churchyard she lies,
Dust is in her beautiful eyes,
No more she breathes, nor feels, nor stirs;
At her feet and at her head
Lies a slave to attend the dead,
But their dust is white as hers.
Was she a lady of high degree,
So much in love with the vanity
And foolish pomp of this world of ours?
Or was it Christian charity,
And lowliness and humility,
The richest and rarest of all dowers?
Who shall tell us? No one speaks;
At the rude question we have asked;
By those who are sleeping at her side.
And do you think to look
On the terrible pages of that Book
To find her failings, faults, and errors?
Ah, you will then have other cares,