Dark HORROR, hear my call! Stern Genius hear from thy retreat On some old sepulchre's moss-cankered seat, Beneath the Abbey's ivied wall That trembles o'er its shade; Where wrapt in midnight gloom, alone, Thou lovest to lie and hear The roar of waters near, And listen to the deep dull groan Of some perturbed sprite Borne fitful on the heavy gales of night.
Or whether o'er some wide waste hill Thou mark'st the traveller stray, Bewilder'd on his lonely way, When, loud and keen and chill, The evening winds of winter blow Drifting deep the dismal snow.
Or if thou followest now on Greenland's shore, With all thy terrors, on the lonely way Of some wrecked mariner, when to the roar Of herded bears the floating ice-hills round Pour their deep echoing sound, And by the dim drear Boreal light Givest half his dangers to the wretches sight.
Or if thy fury form, When o'er the midnight deep The dark-wing'd tempests sweep Watches from some high cliff the encreasing storm, Listening with strange delight As the black billows to the thunder rave When by the lightnings light Thou seest the tall ship sink beneath the wave.
Dark HORROR! bear me where the field of fight Scatters contagion on the tainted gale, When to the Moon's faint beam, On many a carcase shine the dews of night And a dead silence stills the vale Save when at times is heard the glutted Raven's scream.
Where some wreck'd army from the Conquerors might Speed their disastrous flight, With thee fierce Genius! let me trace their way, And hear at times the deep heart-groan Of some poor sufferer left to die alone, His sore wounds smarting with the winds of night; And we will pause, where, on the wild, The Mother to her frozen breast, On the heap'd snows reclining clasps her child And with him sleeps, chill'd to eternal rest!
Black HORROR! speed we to the bed of Death, Where he whose murderous power afar Blasts with the myriad plagues of war, Struggles with his last breath, Then to his wildly-starting eyes The phantoms of the murder'd rise, Then on his frenzied ear Their groans for vengeance and the Demon's yell In one heart-maddening chorus swell. Cold on his brow convulsing stands the dew, And night eternal darkens on his view.
HORROR! I call thee yet once more! Bear me to that accursed shore Where round the stake the impaled Negro writhes. Assume thy sacred terrors then! dispense The blasting gales of Pestilence! Arouse the race of Afric! holy Power, Lead them to vengeance! and in that dread hour When Ruin rages wide I will behold and smile by MERCY'S side.