Five rotten gables look upon
Wan rotting roses and rank weeds,
Old iron gates on posts of stone,
Dim dingles where the vermin breeds.
Five rotten gables black appear
Above bleak yews and cedars sad,
And thence they see the sleepy mere
In lazy lilies clad.

At morn the slender dragon-fly,
A burnished ray of light, darts past;
The knightly bee comes charging by
Winding a surly blast.
At noon amid the fervid leaves
The quarreling insects gossip hot,
And thro' the grass the spider weaves
A weft with silver shot.

At eve the hermit cricket rears
His vesper song in shrillful shrieks;
The bat a blund'ring voyage steers
Beneath the sunset's streaks.
The slimy worm gnaws at the bud,
The Katydid talks dreamily;
The sullen owl in monkish hood
Chants in the old beech tree.

At night the blist'ring dew comes down
And lies as white as autumn frost
Upon the green, upon the brown,
You'd deem each bush a ghost.
The crescent moon with golden prow
Plows thro' the frothy cloud and 's gone;
A large blue star comes out to glow
Above the house alone.

The oozy lilies lie asleep
On glist'ring beds of welt'ring leaves;
The starlight through the trees doth peep,
And fairy garments weaves.
And in the mere, all lily fair,
A maiden's corpse floats evermore,
Naked, and in her raven hair
Wrapped o'er and o'er.

And when the clock of yon old town
Peals midnight o'er the fenny heath,
In haunted chambers up and down
Marches the pomp of Death:
And stiff, stiff silks make rustlings,
Sweep sable satins murmuringly;
And then a voice so sweetly sings
An olden melody.

And foam-white creatures flit and dance
Along the dusty galleries,
With long, loose locks that strangely glance
And demon-glaring eyes.
But in one chamber, when the moon
Casts her cold silver wreath on wreath,
Holds there proud state on ghastly throne
The skeleton Death.