Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By John Vance Cheney (1848–1922)

GRAY Hilda to the churchyard came,

A withered gypsy, bent and lame;

Straightway she struck her witches’ light—

Three greenish flames, sharp-tongued and bright.

Next, she the magic circle drew,

Caught thrice three leaves the night-wind blew;

Then fixèd, as in death, sat she

Among the graves all silently.

So sat she till the village clock

Struck twelve; with its last, warning shock

She broke the charm—sent back below

The dim shapes gliding to and fro.

These passed, but till the darkness fled

Old Hilda sat among the dead;

Where, overhead, night-long a bough

Did sigh, and since has sighed till now.

At morn she rose, cried thrice aloud:

“Young Winsted, when she wears her shroud,

The fish shall feed!” Then, thin and gray,

Like a live mist, she went her way.

God rest her soul—old Hilda gray!

The dreary morn they laid away

The maid beneath the churchyard tree

Curst Winsted’s ship went down at sea.