It was down in the woodland on last Hallowe’en,
Where silence and darkness had built them a lair,
That I felt the dim presence of her, the unseen,
And heard her still step on the ghost-haunted air.
It was last Hallowe’en in the glimmer and swoon
Of mist and of moonlight that thickened and thinned,
That I saw the gray gleam of her eyes in the moon,
And hair, like a raven, blown wild in the wind.
It was last Hallowe’en where starlight and dew
Made mystical marriage on flower and leaf,
That she led me with looks of a love that I knew,
And lured with the voice of a heart-buried grief.
It was last Hallowe’en in the forest of dreams,
Where trees are eidolons and shadows have eyes,
That I saw her pale face like the foam of far streams,
And heard, like the leaf-lisp, her tears and her sighs.
It was last Hallowe’en, the haunted, the dread,
In the wind-tattered wood by the storm-twisted pine,
That I, who am living, kept tryst with the dead,
And clasped her a moment and dreamed she was mine.
by MADISON JULIUS CAWEIN (1865-1914)
Public Domain Poetry