Elizabeth Stoddard



In the still, star-lit night

by Elizabeth Stoddard

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 wreathèd 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?


Copyright 1895
Houghton, Mifflin And Company, Boston And New York