Old Ghosts

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Clove-spicy pinks and phlox that fill the sense
With drowsy indolence;
And in the evening skies
Interior splendor, pregnant with surprise,
As if in some new wise
The full moon soon would rise.

Hung with the crimson aigrets of its seeds
The purple monkshood bleeds;
The dewy crickets chirr,
And everywhere are lights of lavender;
And scents of musk and myrrh
To guide the foot of her.

She passes like a misty glimmer on
To where the rose blooms wan,
A twilight moth in flight,
As in the west its streak of chrysolite
The dusk erases quite,
And ushers in the night.

And now another shadow passes slow,
With firefly light a-glow:
The scent of a cigar,
And two who kiss beneath the evening-star,
Where, in a moonbeam bar,
A whippoorwill cries afar.

Again the tale is told, that has been told
So often here of old:
Ghosts of dead lovers they?
Or memories only of some perished day?
Old ghosts, no time shall lay,
That haunt the place alway.

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