“The Ghosts” from the Knickerbocker

by Ann Neilson

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Illustrations by Irving Montagu from the Strand Magazine, Volume 2, pg. 572.

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The Ghosts
From the Knickerbocker, Volume 53, January, 1859, pg. 40.

Pale shapes advancing from the mid-night air,
Beckoning with misty fingers round my bed,
Bending your faded faces o’er my head,
I have no fear of ye! I seem to share
Your dim vitality—mine’s well-nigh fled.
I feel the human outlines melt away;
Those thin, gray hands that lie on the damp sheet
Are almost vapory enough to meet
Yours in the grasp of fellowship. My hair
Seems turning into cloud. The quickened clay
That walls me in is cracking, and I strive
Towards ye through the breach. Am I alive?
Or are ye dead? All’s vague—a wide, gray sea.
Hark! the cock crows! Now, spirits, welcome me!