by Charlotte Smith
To Melancholy The Supernatural Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
For at such hours the shadowy phantom, pale,
Oft seems to fleet before the poet's eyes; (5-6)
Creepy times! We know from the epigraph to the poem that it was written in the month of October, and it doesn't take much imagination to figure it could very well have been written on Halloween. The speaker says that there's something about this particular day and hour that makes poets see ghosts. Ooooooooohhhhhhh!
Strange sounds are heard, and mournful melodies,
As of night wanderers, who their woes bewail! (7-8)
This isn't Casper the Friendly Ghost, either. The speaker imagines that she sees grumpy ghosts who wander around, moaning and groaning. Sounds like a job for the Ghost Busters, but apparently the speaker kinda likes seeing these visions.
Here, by his native stream, at such an hour,
Pity's own Otway I methinks could meet,
And hear his deep sighs swell the sadden'd wind! (9-11)
In particular, the speaker imagines that she might see the ghost of Thomas Otway, a poet and playwright who lived in the late 1600s and grew up near the River Arun. Why do you think he might be haunting the river where he grew up? Maybe she likes to imagine that he used to get inspiration from looking at the same river that she likes to watch.