In the gloomy, grim Midwest
One dark October day,
I rode along a hilltop crest,
Past a quarry cold and grey.
It was late that afternoon
And I turned to head for home;
When across the barren dune
I saw a figure roam.
I called to him, but no reply
From that figure reached my ear.
And I could not believe my eye
But then he seemed to disappear!
I started, then, upon the path
Down into the dark ravine,
Shuddering to think what hath
Lain long therein, unseen.
When once I reached the floor
The afternoon to night was turning,
But in the dark, I heard a roar
As of a massive fire burning.
And from the distance came a cry
That left me feeling sickened.
And feeling Duty bade me try
To help, my pace I quickened.
The night wind tore my cloak
As I passed trees all dead and rotten.
The smoky, stony place bespoke
A time long since forgotten.
The wolfpacks bayed and howled
From distant, lonely places,
The tree trunks leered and scowled
With twisted moonlit faces.
When that last fatal bend I rounded
I saw the mighty fire, and the rings
By which it was surrounded
Of leaping, grinning, cackling THINGS.
And at the center of the blaze
I saw that at which they chanted,
A sight I’ll not forget for all my days
And on my deathbed shall be haunted.
I turned and ran, in mindless fear,
My faith and reason torn in half.
As I plunged on, I nigh could hear
Those awful creatures laugh.
Now I try to live what life I can
On my lonely country farm;
A broken, shattered, frightened man
Who lies awake for fear of harm.
I will only go out in the day;
And sometimes, in my room at night,
I think that I can hear them, far away,
As they chant their Diabolic rite.