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 How dreary seemed the silent house!
Wide in the moonbeams' ghastly glare
Its windows had a dead man's stare!
And, like a gaunt and spectral hand,
The tremulous shadow of a birch
Reached out and touched the door's low porch,
As if to lift its latch; hard by,
A sudden warning call she heard,
The night-cry of a boding bird.
She leaned against the door; her face,
So fair, so young, so full of pain,
White in the moonlight's silver rain.
The river, on its pebbled rim,
Made music such as childhood knew;
The door-yard tree was whispered through
By voices such as childhood's ear
Had heard in moonlights long ago;
And through the willow-boughs below
She saw the rippled waters shine;
Beyond, in waves of shade and light,
The hills rolled off into the night.
She saw and heard, but over all
A sense of some transforming spell,
The shadow of her sick heart fell.
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