The Darkling Thrush
How we cite our quotes:
The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant, (9-10)
What's scarier than death? Seriously, folks. And the over-the-topness of this description only makes it more chilling.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry, (13-14)
Nature's gone crazy. In the speaker's mind, even birth and regeneration is no longer possible. Then again, have you ever known a winter that wasn't followed by spring at some point? Exactly. Maybe it's not as hopeless and scary as it appears.
And every spirit upon the earth
Seemed fervourless as I. (15-16)
"Fervourless" spirits can't have enough energy to be scared. But the depiction of zombie-like people is supposed to strike fear into the hearts of any and all readers.