The Phantom Horsewoman


Queer are the ways of a man I know:
      He comes and stands
      In a careworn craze,
      And looks at the sands
      And the seaward haze,
      With moveless hands
      And face and gaze,
      Then turns to go...
And what does he see when he gazes so?


They say he sees as an instant thing
      More clear than to-day,
      A sweet soft scene
      That once was in play
      By that briny green;
      Yes, notes alway
      Warm, real, and keen,
      What his back years bring --
A phantom of his own figuring.


Of this vision of his they might say more:
      Not only there
      Does he see this sight,
      But everywhere
      In his brain -- day, night,
      As if on the air
      It were drawn rose-bright --
      Yea, far from that shore
Does he carry this vision of heretofore:


A ghost-girl-rider. And though, toil-tried,
      He withers daily,
      Time touches her not,
      But she still rides gaily
      In his rapt thought
      On that shagged and shaly
      Atlantic spot,
      And as when first eyed
Draws rein and sings to the swing of the tide.