Poetry of Kansas

The Shadows of the Night.

When the shadows of the night
      Come floating 'round my open door,
I ofttimes think of the departed,
      Those who have gone to the other shore.
When the sound of rustling robes
      Falls gently on my ear;
And light comes streaming through the darkness,
      Down from the celestial atmosphere.
And those I loved so dearly
      Come flitting through the gloom,
To trim the burning taper
      Dimly burning at the tomb.
Then the voices of the night
      Mingle with the flow of time,
In a sort of solemn cadence,
      Like the ghastly mariner's rhyme.
And the whisperings of Death
      Create a feverish chill,
Rising from the meadow
      Over the woodland and the hill.
Then I seem to catch the sound
      Of some silvery chiming bell,
Floating through the darkness
      From lands where fleshless mortals dwell,
And I hear the dashing wave
      Break on the nearing strand;
As I wander onward
      To the fair, appointed land.
In my imagination, then,
      I hear the grating keel
Of Charon's boat, as he helps on board
      His human cargo, with hand of steel.

__John Preston Canpell.

Poetical Works
John Preston Canpell
(Topeka: Geo. W. Crane & Company. 1885)
Pages 123-124

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September 6, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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