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  The Miser  

 

The night was dark and dreary,
    And the autumn-wind went by
With a sound like Sorrow's wailing
    In its sadly mournful cry;--
The yew trees, old and drooping,
    Shook in the angry blast,
And the moon looked, pale and tearful,
    Through the clouds that hurried past.

In a dreary room and fireless,
    With mouldy walls and damp,
A grey, old man was seated
    Beside a flickering lamp;--
An old man, worn and wasted,
    With bent and shivering form,
And haggard looks, sat trembling
    At the moaning of the storm.

The casements, old and creaking,
    Shook in the angry blast;
And the pale, thin face grew paler,
    As the shrieking winds went past;
For hovering fiends seemed clutching
    His treasures from his grasp,
And unseen fingers tight'ning
    On his throat their icy clasp.

Again the strong wind rattled
    The broken window-pane,
And the dying taper wavered
    In the rude blast yet again--
For one brief instant wavered,
    Then paled its sickly light,
And the shuddering wretch was shrouded
    In impenetrable night.

The dull, grey light of morning
    Illumed the mountain-height,
And Earth lay, cold and shiv'ring,
    In the blanched, autumnal light,
But a sunbeam struggled faintly
    Through the Miser's broken shed,
And lit the pale, set features
    Of the still, unshrouded dead.

For there, alone, and trembling
    With the horrors of affright,
He had met the king of terrors
    'Mid the darkness of the night;
And with gold enough to satiate
    A monarch's haughty pride,
In fear, and rags, and misery
    Of want the wretch had died!

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule


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