Home  |  Authors  |  Books  |  Stories  |  What's New  |  How to Get Involved 
   T h e   B a l d w i n   P r o j e c t
     Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children                 @mainlesson.com
Search This Site Only
 
 
Legends Every Child Should Know by  Hamilton Wright Mabie


 

 

THE BELEAGUERED CITY


I have read, in some old marvellous tale

Some legend strange and vague,

That a midnight host of spectres pale

Beleaguered the walls of Prague.


Beside the Moldau's rushing stream.

With the wan moon overhead,

There stood, as in an awful dream,

The army of the dead.


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.


[141]

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 fled;

Faith shineth as a morning star,

Our ghastly fears are dead.


 Table of Contents  |  Index  | Previous: The Fate of the Children of Lir  |  Next: Prester John
Copyright (c) 2000-2017 Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.