Part III -- The Haunting
If there was a rest that befell
his tormented spirit when he died,
it did not reach to my chambers
or my soul if I ventured outside.
And then one evening, one moon later,
as I walked along on a cold night
in December watching the full moon,
a voice I heard that gave me a fright.
"Thar she blows, thar she blows!
Cap'n, thar she blows!" I heard.
"Friend, who came to my last resting,
take ye time to hear my words."
But seeing no one there about me
I shivered deep, not from the cold,
and ran headlong back to my chamber
and the safety that it would hold.
But there I could not escape either,
as each night in my dreams,
I saw the bearded old man wavingi
to me to come, I woke and screamed.
And then a night in January
when the full moon lit the sky,
at dusk again I heard him calling
and saw him before my eye.
I hesitated at the vision
more frozen in fear than care,
"Thar she blows, my captain! Please, friend,
hear my tale that I must bear."
"You, who came to my last resting,
hear what has tormented me,
that I may then, upon the gelling,
find my rest and, as last, be free."
The ghost moved forward from the shadows
coming up just by my side,
and I felt the chill of icy fingers
through my coat and deep inside.
I drew back, frightened, at the touching
and looked into his hollow gaze
where tears flowed freely from his dark eyes
and froze in his heart, my heart ablaze.
A skinny hand reached out at me
and held in stillness in a plea
that was silent yet heard most clearly
even above the crashing sea.
"Be gone from me, thou wicked madness!
Spirit, must thou torment me so?"
And I sprang from my frozen fright
and hastened up the street to go.
I shook inside and my heart ached
as I ran and saw him there ahead
at every corner that I came to,
till I buried myself into my bed.
Part IV -- In My Chambers
Then there was a rest that found me;
he visited me in dreams no more,
and I did not see him one month later.
I hurried home and locked the door.
Outside all the full moon glistened
on the snow that the night before did fall.
I buried myself deep in the blankets
till I heard footsteps in the hall.
There came a knocking at my chamber
and I called out softly: "Who's there?"
And there came no answer, only resounding
the tapping, and I fell into prayer.
Then I looked out from my covering
when the knocking finally ceased
to see the gray form at the doorway
and I felt my soul as it released.
"Fear not, friend, I bid thee listen
to my tale that I may rest,
for none there was would ever hear me.
I will not harm thee, may God attest."
I said no word, but glanced in sorrow
that the ghost did block my way,
standing as he did at the doorway,
and cursed, in my heart, that day.
He stood in silence in his grayness,
an empty form you could see through
more like a ray from reflected moonlight
that seemed warmer as it faded blue.
A dark and dreary mist surrounded
all the room in foggy cold,
and I slid deeper into my bedclothes,
trying to hide within their fold.
Then the fire in the hearth flickered
and went out, and in my bones,
I felt unearthly coldness enter
as I cowered before the ghost, alone.
"Dear God, spare me, what have I done
to be dealt this hellish fate?"
But there was no rescue or answer
-- all he did was stand there and wait.
Moments passed that seemed as hours;
then outside, a clock struck ten,
and the spirit sighed in broken sorrow,
and tears flowed from his eyes again.
Then he raised his right arm pointing
at a cross with his hollow physique.
It glowed a restful white that soothed me,
and from within, I heard my voice say, "Speak."