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"Ah! why," said he, "our bliss delay!
"The bounding arrow cleaves the sky,
"In wedlock's sweet endearing lot
""Tis now," replied the village belle,
"How, when the midnight signal tolls,
"A mournful train of sentenc'd souls "In winding-sheets are seen!
"The ghosts of all whom death shall doom "Within the coming year,
"In pale procession walk the gloom, "Amid the silence drear!
"If Edmund, bold in conscious might, By love severely tried,
"Can brave the terrors of to-night,
"Ella will be his bride."
She spake, and, like the nimble fawn,
That silent, solemn, simple spot,
The mouldering realm of peace, Where human passions are forgot! Where human follies cease!
The gliding moon, through heaven serene
And shed o'er all the sleeping scene
With swelling heart and eager feet
Within the dreadful porch.
Thick, threatening clouds assembling soon, Their dragon wings display'd; Eclips'd the slow-retiring moon,
And quench'd the stars in shade.
Amid the deep abyss of gloom
Save, glistening o'er some haunted tomb,
The village watch-dogs bay'd around,
All on a sudden died the blast,
Dumb horror chill'd the air, While nature seem'd to pause aghast, In uttermost despair.
-Twelve times the midnight herald toll'd,
As oft did Edmund start;
For every stroke fell dead and cold
Then glaring through the ghastly gloom,
The destin'd victims of the tomb
In that strange moment Edmund stood,
While creeping horror drank his blood,
He saw the secrets of the grave!
Yet still the scene his soul beguil'd,
On Edmund, as they pass'd.
All on the ground entranc'd he lay;
That moment, through a rifted cloud,
Her dusky veil aside she threw,
"Ha! who art thou!" His cheek grew pale:
"Ella-thy destin'd bride!"
To win his neck, her airy arms
The pallid phantom spread; Recoiling from her blasted charms, The affrighted lover fled.
To shun the visionary maid
His speed outstript the wind ;
So death's unerring arrows glide,
pause, nor shrink, nor turn aside,
O'er many a mountain, moor and vale,
The ghost of Ella, wild and pale,
But when the dawn began to gleam,
Three days, bewilder'd and forlorn,
"Twas evening:-all the air was balm,
Then sunk his heart;-a strange surmise
-a funeral met his eyes
"'Tis she! 'tis she!" He burst away;
A maniac now, in dumb despair,
He wanders, weeps and watches there,
And every eve of pale St. Mark,
As village hinds relate,
He walks with Ella in the dark,
"THE Princess Anne, to her bower is gone,
"Her bower is high on that lonely hill,
The warder ceased, and closed the gates,
The man was clad in a mantle red,
And his bonnet was large and dark;
So musing still, he gained the hill,