by: Sarah N. Cleghorn (1876-1959)

      ITTLE wistful shades, when dusk was nearing,
      Flitted in the streets of Hemlock Town.
      Saw you not, among the leafy shadows,
      Breeze-stirred pinafores of beechen brown?
      By closed shutters of the fanlight doorways
      Fond they lingered, faintly listening yet
      Only to the click of ancient needles
      And the rustle of an old Gazette;
      Vainly harkening for a sound of frolic
      In the silent Square and stately Green;
      Vaguely seeking, in our long prim gardens,
      Little boys and girls where none were seen;--
      Till what time the Poles and Finns and Syrians,
      Following the mills, came thronging down,
      And with patriarchal troops of children
      Waked the spellbound streets of Hemlock Town.
      Many little hob shoes danced and clattered,
      Earrings tinkled, and the dusky braid
      Nodded to the songs the Caesar's children
      Sang, and games that Pharaoh's daughter played.
      Then the little ghosts, in noiseless scamper
      Fleeing up the south wind, homeward hied
      To their nursery of low green pillows
      On the walled hill's morning-fronting side;
      Laying down their shadowy heads contented,
      Shed upon the drowsing wind their deep,
      Low last murmur of fulfilled desire,
      Sunk in dreams, and smiling in their sleep.

"Haunted Village" is reprinted from Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1916. Ed. William Stanley Braithwaite. New York: Laurence J. Gomme, 1916.



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