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  ― 169 ―

The Spectre Coach.

 AN ESSEX LEGEND.

Rattle, rattle, tramp and dash,
Winding horn and harness shaking—
Who that hears the fearsome clash
But like aspen-leaf is quaking?

See the leaders' eyes fire-flashing,
Dusk each horse as darkest coal,
Through the murky mist they're dashing,
Swift the rumbling coach-wheels roll.

On the seats dim forms are sitting,
Smouldering-red their curst eyes gleam;
Spectre guard is by thee flitting,
Spectre coachman driveth team!

Lo! he now his reins is tightening,
He would hail thee—but beware!
In the East the sky is brightening,
They must to their inn repair.

Ask not of that unknown hostel,
Answer not the driver's cry,
Let not leaf beside thee rustle,
When the spectre coach sweeps by!

Plunging, now the bog they enter—
Holy Mother! guard us well—
On yon gloomy panel's centre
Looms, in fiery letters, HELL!

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