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White as a sea-fog, landward bound,

The spectral camp was seen, And, with a sorrowful, deep sound,

The river flowed between.

No other voice nor sound was there,

No drum, nor sentry's pace ; The mist-like banners clasped the air,

As clouds with clouds embrace.

But, when the old cathedral bell

Proclaimed the morning prayer, The white pavilions rose and fell

On the alarmed air.

Down the broad valley fast and far

The troubled army fled ;
Up rose the glorious morning star,

The ghastly host was dead.

I have read, in the marvellous heart of man,

That strange and mystic scroll,
That an army of phantoms vast and wan

Beleaguer the human soul.

Encamped beside Life's rushing stream,

In Fancy's misty light, Gigantic shapes and shadows gleam

Portentous through the night.

· Upon its midnight battle-ground

The spectral camp is seen,
And, with a sorrowful, deep sound,

Flows the River of Life between.

No other voice, nor sound is there,

In the army of the grave;
No other challenge breaks the air,

But the rushing of Life's wave.

And, when the solemn and deep church-bell

Entreats the soul to pray,
The midnight phantoms feel the spell,

The shadows sweep away.

Down the broad Vale of Tears afar

The spectral camp is filed ; Faith shineth as a morning star,

Our ghastly fears are dead.

MIDNIGHT MASS FOR THE DYING YEAR.

Yes, the Year is growing old,

And his eye is pale and bleared !
Death, with frosty hand and cold,
Plucks the old man by the beard,

Sorely, — sorely!

The leaves are falling, falling,

Solemnly and slow ;
Caw! caw! the rooks are calling,
It is a sound of woe,

A sound of woe!

Through woods and mountain passes

The winds, like anthems, roll ; They are chanting solemn masses, Singing ; “ Pray for this poor soul,

Pray, — pray ! ”

And the hooded clouds, like friars,

Tell their beads in drops of rain, And patter their doleful prayers ; — But their prayers are all in vain,

All in vain !

There he stands in the foul weather,

The foolish, fond Old Year, Crowned with wild flowers and with heather, Like weak, despised Lear,

A king, - a king !

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