From far across the desolate moor I heard
The echo of a wild and anguished cry–
A tortured voice that shrieked aloud a word,
A name, that shivered ‘cross the leaden sky.
I stopped–stared ’round–I knew that voice did sound
A faint, familiar note within my brain.
I fled across that dark and desolate ground
Seeking out the direction whence it came.
Forebodingly, that voice kept echoing
Within a brain that did not seem my own …
A vague remembrance of a recent thing
I could not grasp … I was a lost and lone
Forsaken soul that sped I knew not where,
Wondering frightenedly what I did seek….
At last I found it, there beside a bare
And lonely road, when trembling and weak,
I gazed upon a gallows-tree where hung
A corpse, the very site of which did freeze
The blood within my veins; a corpse that swung
Grotesquely to and fro upon the breeze.
And then, through rising panic, closer still
I peered–then saw!–and knew! Again that cry
That shrieked a name–the cry that issued shrill
From my own throat, and shivered to the sky!
The name I shriek beneath the gallows-tree
Was mine. The dead thing swinging there was me!