Haunters Of The Silence

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

There are haunters of the silence, ghosts that hold the heart and brain:
I have sat with them and hearkened; I have talked with them in vain:
I have shuddered from their coming, yet have run to meet them there,
And have cursed them and have blessed them and have loved them to despair.

At my door I see their shadows; in my walks I meet their ghosts;
Where I often hear them weeping or sweep by in withered hosts:
Perished dreams, gone like the roses, crumbling by like autumn leaves;
Phantoms of old joys departed, that the spirit eye perceives.

Oft at night they sit beside me, fix their eyes upon my face,
Demon eyes that burn and hold me, in whose deeps my heart can trace
All the past; and where a passion, as in Hell the ghosts go by,
Turns an anguished face toward me with a love that cannot die.

In the night-time, in the darkness, in the blackness of the storm,
Round my fireplace there they gather, flickering form on shadowy form:
In the daytime, in the noontide, in the golden sunset glow,
On the hilltops, in the forests, I have met them walking slow.

There are haunters of the silence, ghosts that hold the brain and heart:
In the mansion of my being they have placed a room apart:
There I hear their spectre raiment, see their shadows on the floor,
Where the raven, Sorrow, darkens Love's pale image o'er my door.

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