[Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1864.]
Where spells were wrought he sat alone,
The wizard touching minds of men
Through far-swung avenues of power,
And proudly held the magic pen.
By the dark wall a white Shape gleams,
By morning's light a Shadow falls!
Is it a servant of his brain,
Or Power that to his power calls?
By morning's light the Shadow looms,
And watches with relentless eyes;
In night-gloom holds the glimmering lamp,
While the pen ever slower flies.
By the dark wall it beckons still,
By evening light it darkly stays;
The wizard looks, and his great life
Thrills with the sense of finished days.
A Shape so ghost-like by the sun,
With smiles that chill as dusks descend!
The glancing wizard, stern and pale,
Admits the presence of the End.
Health has forsaken, death is near,
The hand moves slower, eyes grow dim;
The End approaches, and the man
Dreams of no spell for quelling Him.