Stops of Various Quills/In the Dark

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In the Dark by William Dean Howells
illustrations by Howard Pyle

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 019 large a.jpg


IN THE DARK


HOW often, when I wake from sleep at night,
 I search my consciousness to find the ill
 That has lurked formlessly within it, still
Haunting me with a shadowy affright;
And try to seize it and to know aright
 Its vague proportions, and my frantic will
 Runs this way and runs that way, with a thrill
Of horror, to all things that ban or blight!
Then, when I find all well, it is as though
 The moment were some reef where I had crept
  From the wide waste of danger and of death,
  And for a little I might draw my breath
 Before the flood came up again, and swept
Over it, and gulfed me in its deeps below.



Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 019 large c.jpg