There are ghosts in the room,
As I sit here alone, from the dark corners there
They come out of the gloom
And they stand at my side, and they lean on my chair.
There's the ghost of a hope
That lighted my days with a fanciful glow.
In her hand is the rope
That strangled her life out. Hope was slain long ago.
But her ghost comes to-night,
With its skeleton face, and expressionless eyes,
And it stands in the light,
And mocks me, and jeers me with sobs and with sighs.
There's the ghost of a Joy,
A frail, fragile thing, and I prized it too much,
And the hands that destroy
Clasped it close, and it died at the withering touch.
There's the ghost of a love,
Born with joy, reared with Hope, died in pain and unrest,
But he towers above
All the others--this ghost: yet a ghost at the best.
I am weary and fain
Would forget all these dead: but the gibbering host
Make the struggle in vain,
In each shadowy corner, there lurketh a ghost.
Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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