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Horror Poems Perfect for Halloween


That After Horror—that ‘Twas Us – Poem by Emily Dickinson

~That after Horror—that ’twas us—
That passed the mouldering Pier—
Just as the Granite Crumb let go—
Our Savior, by a Hair—
A second more, had dropped too deep
For Fisherman to plumb—
The very profile of the Thought
Puts Recollection numb—
The possibility—to pass
Without a Moment’s Bell—
Into Conjecture’s presence—
Is like a Face of Steel—
That suddenly looks into ours
With a metallic grin—
The Cordiality of Death—
Who drills his Welcome in—

 

To Horror – Poem by Robert Southey

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.

 

Horreur Sympathique – Poem by Charles Baudelaire

De ce ciel bizarre et livide,
Tourmenté comme ton destin,
Quels pensers dans ton âme vide
Descendent? réponds, libertin.
— Insatiablement avide
De l’obscur et de l’incertain,
Je ne geindrai pas comme Ovide
Chassé du paradis latin.
Cieux déchirés comme des grèves
En vous se mire mon orgueil;
Vos vastes nuages en deuil
Sont les corbillards de mes rêves,
Et vos lueurs sont le reflet
De l’Enfer où mon coeur se plaît.
Reflected Horror
From that sky, bizarre and livid,
Distorted as your destiny,
What thoughts into your empty soul
Descend? Answer me, libertine.
— Insatiably avid
For the dark and the uncertain,
I shall not whimper like Ovid
Chased from his Latin paradise.
Skies torn like the shores of the sea,
You are the mirror of my pride;
Your vast clouds in mourning
Are the black hearses of my dreams,
And your gleams are the reflection
Of the Hell which delights my heart.
— Translated by William Aggeler
Sympathetic Horror
From livid skies that, without end,
As stormy as your future roll,
What thoughts into your empty soul
(Answer me, libertine!) descend?
— Insatiable yet for all
That turns on darkness, doom, or dice,
I’ll not, like Ovid, mourn my fall,
Chased from the Latin paradise.
Skies, torn like seacoasts by the storm!
In you I see my pride take form,
And the huge clouds that rush in streams
Are the black hearses of my dreams,
And your red rays reflect the hell,
In which my heart is pleased to dwell.

 

A Gothic Horror – Poem by Margaret Alice Second

Thank you for representing life as a Gothic horror
with the nerve-wrecking shocks of demented men,
dad as Heathcliff, mom as Mr Rochester’s mad first
wife and you a strange mixture between Jane Eyre
and the rebellious Catherine
Thank you for recreating ‘Great Expectations’ in which
you are Pip, for describing your life in Sherwood with
Robin Hood among the criminal poor, adding scenes
of the Phantom’s life in his nightmare underworld lair,
yet, I cannot share the stage with you
I am following the narrative imperative of Pratchett’s
Discworld series, applying Mary Poppins’ advice in a
wild dance through the mutable universe depicted in
Bedknobs and Broomsticks – balancing this edifice
with ideals and visions; therefore
Thank you for adding Edgar Allan Poe and Artemis
Fowl to the pastoral scenes of my slow-moving life,
I shall remember you believe that intrigue is the
staple of life as I am sitting quietly, waiting for
the White Rabbit to pass by again…

 

Horror – Poem by Victor Marie Hugo

Esprit mystérieux qui, le doigt sur ta bouche,
Passes… ne t’en va pas ! parle à l’homme farouche
Ivre d’ombre et d’immensité,
Parle-moi, toi, front blanc qui dans ma nuit te penches !
Réponds-moi, toi qui luis et marches sous les branches
Comme un souffle de la clarté !
Est-ce toi que chez moi minuit parfois apporte ?
Est-ce toi qui heurtais l’autre nuit à ma porte,
Pendant que je ne dormais pas ?
C’est donc vers moi que vient lentement ta lumière ?
La pierre de mon seuil peut-être est la première
Des sombres marches du trépas.
Peut-être qu’à ma porte ouvrant sur l’ombre immense,
L’invisible escalier des ténèbres commence ;
Peut-être, ô pâles échappés,
Quand vous montez du fond de l’horreur sépulcrale,
O morts, quand vous sortez de la froide spirale,
Est-ce chez moi que vous frappez !
Car la maison d’exil, mêlée aux catacombes,
Est adossée au mur de la ville des tombes.
Le proscrit est celui qui sort ;
Il flotte submergé comme la nef qui sombre.
Le jour le voit à peine et dit : Quelle est cette ombre ?
Et la nuit dit : Quel est ce mort ?
Sois la bienvenue, ombre ! ô ma soeur ! ô figure
Qui me fais signe alors que sur l’énigme obscure
Je me penche, sinistre et seul ;
Et qui viens, m’effrayant de ta lueur sublime,
Essuyer sur mon front la sueur de l’abîme
Avec un pan de ton linceul ! …

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