Ghosts

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Low, weed-climbed cliffs, o'er which at noon
The sea-mists swoon:
Wind-twisted pines, through which the crow
Goes winging slow:
Dim fields, the sower never sows,
Or reaps or mows:
And near the sea a ghostly house of stone
Where all is old and lone.

A garden, falling in decay,
Where statues gray
Peer, broken, out of tangled weed
And thorny seed:
Satyr and Nymph, that once made love
By walk and grove:
And, near a fountain, shattered, green with mold,
A sundial, lichen-old.

Like some sad life bereft,
To musing left,
The house stands: love and youth
Both gone, in sooth:
But still it sits and dreams:
And round it seems
Some memory of the past, still young and fair,
Haunting each crumbling stair.

And suddenly one dimly sees,
Come through the trees,
A woman, like a wild moss-rose:
A man, who goes
Softly: and by the dial
They kiss a while:
Then drowsily the mists blow round them, wan,
And they, like ghosts, are gone.

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