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In The Still, Star-lit Nigh

by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, 1895

  In the still, star-lit night,
By the full fountain and the willow-tree,
  I walked, and not alone—
A spirit walked with me!

  A shade fell on the grass;
Upon the water fell a deeper shade:
  Something the willow stirred,
For to and fro it swayed.

  The grass was in a quiver,
The water trembled, and the willow-tree
  Sighed softly; I sighed loud—
The spirit taunted me.

  All the night long I walked
By the full fountain, dropping icy tears;
  I tore the willow leaves,
I tore the long, green spears!

  I clutched the quaking grass,
And beat the rough bark of the willow-tree;
  I shook the wreathed boughs,
To make the spirit flee.

  It haunted me till dawn,
By the full fountain and the willow-tree;
  For with myself I walked—
How could the spirit flee?

Published in Poems

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