Last night I heard the plaintive whippoorwill,
And straightway Sorrow shot his swiftest dart.
I know not why, but it has chilled my heart
Like some dread thing of evil. All night long
My nerves were shaken, and my pulse stood still,
And waited for a terror yet to come
To strike harsh discords through my life's sweet song.
Sleep came - an incubus that filled the sum
Of wretchedness with dreams so wild and chill
The sweat oozed from me like great drops of gall;
An evil spirit kept my mind in thrall,
And rolled my body up like a poor scroll
On which is written curses that the soul
Shrinks back from when it sees some hellish carnival.