The Suicide's Grave

'T was at the dark, the solemn hour,
When midnight throws its gloom around,
When the deep-frowning tempests lower,
And the shrill-whistling winds resound
Along the forest drear, and o'er the lonely grave;
When even the courage of the brave
Sinks 'neath the pressure of the sullen shade;
When the heart's deceitful visions fade,—
Visions of bliss by mortals never known,
Since virtue from the earth had flown,
And anger bared his blood-distilling blade.

Lone I wandered by the tomb,
Where a wretch, who with his keen-edged knife
Loosed the bands that bind the soul to life,
And plunged himself in misery's deepest gloom,
Slumbered in sleep of death profound,—
Which shall ne'er awake,
Till the earth's foundations shake,
And the last trumpet cleaves the solid ground.

A grisly spectre met my staring sight,
Dim as the purple meteor of the night,
In robe of gory crimson clad;
His clotted hands were smeared with red,
His eyeballs rolled in frenzy mad,
His hollow voice seemed issuing from the dead.

“Shun the gloomy thought, that loves to prey
On the heart, and eats the soul away,
If you dread a living hell,
Nor with misery love to dwell.”

He said,—and from the tomb
Three yells, like hyæns rushing on their prey,
Burst their rapid way.
It seemed, as if the womb
Of those eternal realms of woe and pain,
Where agonizing demons reign,
Had cleaved its iron walls again.
Soon he vanished from my eye,
In a shower of blood that stained the sky.
Dreadful was the sight
Of that lonely night,
Now in ebon darkness veiled,
Now with crimson overspread;
So dreadful, that the stoutest heart had quailed,
And even the undaunted brave in breathless terror fled.
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