Haunted Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Evening was in the wood louring with stormA
A time of drought had sucked the weedy poolB
And baked the channels birds had done with songC
Thirst was a dream of fountains in the moonD
Or willow music blown across the waterE
Leisurely sliding on by weir and millF
Uneasy was the man who wandered broodingG
His face a little whiter than the duskH
A drone of sultry wings flicker'd in his headI
The end of sunset burning thro' the boughsJ
Died in a smear of red exhausted hoursK
Cumber'd and ugly sorrows hemmed him inL
He thought 'Somewhere there's thunder ' as he stroveM
To shake off dread he dared not look behind himN
But stood the sweat of horror on his faceO
He blunder'd down a path trampling on thistlesP
In sudden race to leave the ghostly treesQ
And 'Soon I'll be in open fields ' he thoughtR
And half remembered starlight on the meadowsS
Scent of mown grass and voices of tired menT
Fading along the field paths home and sleepU
And cool swept upland spaces whispering leavesV
And far off the long churring night jar's noteW
But something in the wood trying to daunt himN
Led him confused in circles through the thicketX
He was forgetting his old wretched follyY
And freedom was his need his throat was chokingG
Barbed brambles gripped and clawed him round his legsZ
And he floundered over snags and hidden stumpsA2
Mumbling 'I will get out I must get out '-
Butting and thrusting up the baffling gloomB2
Pausing to listen in a space 'twixt thornsC2
He peers around with peering frantic eyesD2
An evil creature in the twilight loopingG
Flapped blindly in his face Beating it offE2
He screeched in terror and straightway something clamberedF2
Heavily from an oak and dropped bent doubleG2
To shamble at him zigzag squat and bestialG2
Headlong he charges down the wood and fallsH2
With roaring brain agony the snap't sparkI2
And blots of green and purple in his eyesD2
Then the slow fingers groping on his neckJ2
And at his heart the strangling clasp of deathK2

Siegfried Sassoon


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