Haunted Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


What are these nameless mysteriesA
These subtleties of life and deathB
That bring before our spirit eyesC
The loved and lost or like a breathB
Of lightest air will touch the cheekD
And yet a wordless language speakD
In every breeze that blows to dayE
One voice seems speaking unto meF
And north or south whichever wayE
I turn my gaze one face I seeF
And closely closely at my sideG
A mystic shadow seems to glideG
A motley crowd we move amongH
We surge on with the mighty massI
And yet no one in all the throngJ
Looks strangely on us as we passI
No eye but mine own seems to seeF
The nameless thing that walks by meF
I cannot touch a proffered handK
But this strange shadow glides betweenL
Why came he from the spirit landK
What brought him from the world unseenL
Why am I troubled and oppressedM
By the vague presence of my guestM
He was my friend I should rejoiceN
I loved him once Why do I fearO
And yet I shudder as his voiceN
Speaks in the wind I feel him nearO
This restless spirit of the deadP
And shiver with a nameless dreadP
I loved him once he was my friendQ
He held the first place in my heartR
And might have held it to the endQ
But our two ways spread wide apartR
I kept the path upon the hillS
And he went down and down untilS
He reached the depths of sin and shameT
And died as sots and drunkards dieU
I ceased to even speak his nameT
God knows I never thought that IU
Who blamed his lack of moral strengthV
Might answer for his fall at lengthV
O restless dead lost friend of mineW
I might have saved you had I triedG
I saw you lift the glass of wineW
And seeing had I warned you criedG
'Touch not taste not the drink accursed '-
I might have saved you from the thirstX
That swallowed up your brain and soulY
But nay I scorned you when you fellZ
And looking upward to my goalY
Left you to stagger down to hellZ
Accusing spirit of the deadP
Your presence fills my heart with dreadP

Ella Wheeler Wilcox


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