There in the midst of gloom the church-spire rose,
And not a star lit any side of heaven;
In glades not far the damp reeds coldly touched
Their sides, like soldiers dead before they fall;
There in the belfry clung the sleeping bat, -
Most abject creature, hanging like a leaf
Down from the bell-tongue, silent as the speech
The dead have lost ere they are laid in graves.
A melancholy prelude I would sing
To song more drear, while thought soars into gloom.
Find me the harbor of the roaming storm,
Or end of souls whose doom is life itself!
So vague, yet surely sad, the song I dream
And utter not. So sends the tide its roll, -
Unending chord of horror for a woe
We but half know, even when we die of it.