William Bell Scott

(1811-1890 / Scotland)

A Ghost


In the first watch of the night,
One candle all my light,
I saw a Spirit near the door
Standing raised above the floor,
In the air he was, yet standing,
Feet placed flat as on some landing;
So I turned my elbowed chair.
He stood still there,—
Like tarnished silver, dark yet bright,
And edging his crisp hair,
His hands,—whatever parts were bare,
Except the soles of his firm feet,
Passed a line of phosphor light:
Then noiselessly I rose to greet
My visitor as it was meet;
I had no fears;
His lips moved not, yet answered he,
Nor did I hear him through the ears;
Ah, would I could
Repeat again his speech to Thee!
It satisfied and strengthened me,
It was Æolian too, I heard,
But yet I think he spoke no word.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010
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