Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1121. On Kingston Bridge
 
By Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz
 
 
On All Souls’ Night the dead walk on Kingston Bridge.—OLD LEGEND.
 
 
ON Kingston Bridge the starlight shone
  Through hurrying mists in shrouded glow;
The boding night-wind made its moan,
  The mighty river crept below.
  ’T was All Souls’ night, and to and fro        5
The quick and dead together walked,
The quick and dead together talked,
        On Kingston Bridge.
 
Two met who had not met for years;
Once was their hate too deep for fears:        10
One drew his rapier as he came,
Upleapt his anger like a flame.
With clash of mail he faced his foe,
And bade him stand and meet him so.
He felt a graveyard wind go by        15
Cold, cold as was his enemy.
  A stony horror held him fast.
The Dead looked with a ghastly stare,
  And sighed “I know thee not,” and passed
Like to the mist, and left him there        20
        On Kingston Bridge.
 
’T was All Souls’ night, and to and fro
  The quick and dead together walked,
  The quick and dead together talked,
        On Kingston Bridge.        25
 
Two met who had not met for years:
With grief that was too deep for tears
        They parted last.
He clasped her hand, and in her eyes
He sought Love’s rapturous surprise.        30
“Oh Sweet!” he cried, “hast thou come back
To say thou lov’st thy lover still?”
—Into the starlight, pale and cold,
She gazed afar,—her hand was chill:
“Dost thou remember how we kept        35
Our ardent vigils?—how we kissed?—
Take thou these kisses as of old!”
  An icy wind about him swept;
“I know thee not,” she sighed, and passed
    Into the dim and shrouding mist        40
        On Kingston Bridge.
 
’T was All Souls’ night, and to and fro
    The quick and dead together walked,
    The quick and dead together talked,
        On Kingston Bridge.        45
 

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