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Sandwich and Romney, Hastings, Hithe, and

Dover Were all alert that day, To see the French war-steamers speeding


When the fog cleared away.

Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,

Their cannon, through the night,
Holding their breath, had watched, in grim

The sea-coast opposite.

And now they roared at drum-beat from their


On every citadel; Each answering each, with morning saluta


That all was well.

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, Nomorning 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


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,

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 From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,

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.

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