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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

Birds of Passage

Flight the Third. The Haunted Chamber

EACH heart has its haunted chamber,

Where the silent moonlight falls!

On the floor are mysterious footsteps,

There are whispers along the walls!

And mine at times is haunted

By phantoms of the Past,

As motionless as shadows

By the silent moonlight cast.

A form sits by the window,

That is not seen by day,

For as soon as the dawn approaches

It vanishes away.

It sits there in the moonlight,

Itself as pale and still,

And points with its airy finger

Across the window-sill.

Without, before the window,

There stands a gloomy pine,

Whose boughs wave upward and downward

As wave these thoughts of mine.

And underneath its branches

Is the grave of a little child,

Who died upon life’s threshold,

And never wept nor smiled.

What are ye, O pallid phantoms!

That haunt my troubled brain?

That vanish when day approaches,

And at night return again?

What are ye, O pallid phantoms!

But the statues without breath,

That stand on the bridge overarching

The silent river of death?