"Haunted" by Ethna Carbery [aka Mrs. Seumus MacManus, Anna Johnston] (1866-1902)
There was a wild cry in the night
And one went past,
I knew a soul was faring forth
Upon the blast.
I knew it was my little love,
But dared not rise;
My mother held me with her prayers,
And tear-wet eyes.
"Son! Son! 'tis but the banshee's voice."
My grief! I knew
Cold Death had sealed the kissing lips,
And eyes of blue.
I knew she lay a pulseless thing,
A lily slain–
Lights at the feet that never more
Would dance again.
Candles around the yellow head–
And on her breast
Blossoms as wan as her dead cheek
Mine own had pressed.
My anger broke her gentle heart–
Because of me
She went to walk the lonely road
Where shadows be.
And I, crouched thro' that awful night
Without a stir,
Saw shining in the dark, the sweet
Sad face of her.
A chill wind blows about my hair
Where'er I go;
A weeping voice is in my ear–
A voice I know.
She haunts me and will not depart
For prayer or tear–
Would I were underneath the sod
And she were here!
Then I, being dead, might pity win,
And in God's peace
Old memories would lose their sting,
Old sorrows cease.