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Wadsworth Longfellow, Henry - Haunted Houses



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – from The Poems of Longfellow [printed about 1875]
from Haunted Houses

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses.  Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide
With feet that make no sound upon the floors

We meet them at the doorway, on the stair
Along the passages they come and go
Impalpable impressions on the air
A sense of something moving to and fro

There are more guests at table, than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts
As silent as the pictures on the wall

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I see
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear

We have no title deeds to house or lands
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands
And hold in mortmain still their old estates

The spirit world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air

The source of the experience

Wadsworth Longfellow, Henry

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