Samhain Portal

This Entry is a bit of a hybrid: usually I post just on the traditions of the Celtic/Pagan world, but this one includes elements from Haiti, the deep South, as well as Ireland. It is a bit of a mix, but one I have enjoyed putting together. I hope your Samhain/Halloween is a grand occassion, on this the thinnest night and day between the worlds..

Bright Blessings,
On The Menue:
Edgar Allan Poe Quotes
Muddy Waters – Louisiana Blues
The Ghost of Sneem
The Poetry Of Poe…
Dr. John – I Walk On Giilded Splinters
Edgar Allan Poe Quotes:

Madness vs. Intelligence:
“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.”
– from “Eleonora”

“But as in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of today, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.”
– from “Berenice”
“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
– from “Eleonora”

“She was a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee. And evil was the hour when she saw, and loved, and wedded the painter. He, passionate, studious, austere, and having already a bride in his Art; she a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee; all light and smiles, and frolicsome as the young fawn; loving and cherishing all things; hating only the Art which was her rival;”
– from “The Oval Portrait”
“There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of our sad Humanity may assume the semblance of a Hell — but the imagination of man is no Carathis, to explore with impunity its every cavern. Alas! the grim legion of sepulchral terrors cannot be regarded as altogether fanciful — but, like the Demons in whose company Afrasiab made his voyage down the Oxus, they must sleep, or they will devour us — they must be suffered to slumber, or we perish.”
– from “The Premature Burial”

Muddy Waters – Louisiana Blues

The Ghost of Sneem

Some time after Pat Doyle was killed by the ghost, my husband, Martin Doyle, was at work on an estate at some distance from Sneem, and one evening the gentleman who employed Martin told him to go that night on an errand to Sneem.

“Well,” said he, “it’s too late and the road is very lonesome. There is no one to care for my mother but me, and if anything should happen to me she’d be without support. I’ll go in the morning.”

“That will not do,” said the gentleman: “I want to send a letter, and it must be delivered to-night.”

“I’ll not risk it; I’ll not go,” said Martin.

Martin had a cousin James, who heard the conversation and, stepping up, he said, “I’ll go. I am not afraid of ghost or spirit, and many a night have I spent on that road.”

The gentleman thanked him and said:

“Here is a sword for you, if you need it.” He gave James the letter with directions for delivering it.

James started off, and took every short cut and by-path, and when he thought he was half-way to Sneem a ghost stood before him in the road, and began to make at him. Whenever the ghost came near, James made a drive at him with the steel sword, for there is great virtue in steel, and above all in steel made by an Irish blacksmith. The ghost was darting at James, and he driving at the ghost with his sword till he came to a cross-road near Sneem. There the ghost disappeared, and James hurried on with great speed to Sneem. There he found that the gentleman who was to receive the letter had moved to a place six miles away, near Blackwater bridge, half-way between Sneem and Kenmare. The place has a very bad name to this day, and old people declare that there is no night without spirits and headless people being around Blackwater bridge. James knew what the place was, but he made up his mind to deliver the letter. When he came to the bridge and was going to cross it a ghost attacked him. This ghost had a venomous look and was stronger than the first one. He ran twice at James, who struck at him with the sword. Just then he saw a big man without a head running across the road at the other side of the bridge and up the cliff, though there was no path there. The ghost stopped attacking and ran after the headless man. James crossed the bridge and walked a little farther, when he met a stranger, and the two saluted each other and the man asked James where he lived, and he said: “I came from Drumfada.” “Do you know what time it is?” asked James. “I do not; but when I was passing that house just below there the cocks were beginning to crow. Did you see anything?” “I did,” said James, and he told him how the ghost attacked him and then ran away up the cliff after the headless man.

“Oh,” said the stranger, “that headless body is always roaming around the bridge at night; hundreds of people have seen it. It ran up the cliff and disappeared at cock-crow, and the ghost that attacked you followed when the cocks crowed.”

The stranger went on and James delivered the letter. The man who received it was very thankful and paid him well. James came home safe and sound, but he said: “I’d be a dead man this day but for the steel.”

“Could you tell me a real fairy tale?” asked I of the old woman. “I could,” said she, “but to-day I’ll tell you only what I saw one night beyond Cahirciveen:

Once I spent the night at a house near Waterville, about six miles from Derrynane. The woman of the house was lying in bed at the time and a young child with her. The husband heard an infant crying outside under the window, and running to the bed he said:

“Yerra, Mary, have you the child with you?”
“Indeed, then, I have, John.”

“Well, I heard a child crying under the window. I’ll go this minute and see whose it is.”
“In the name of God,” screamed the wife, “stop inside! Get the holy water and sprinkle it over the children and over me and yourself.”
He did this, and then sprinkled some in the kitchen. He heard the crying go off farther and farther till it seemed half a mile away: it was very pitiful and sad. If he had gone to the door the man of the house would have got a fairy stroke and the mother would have been taken as a nurse to the fort.

This is all the old woman told. When going she promised to come on the following day, but I have not seen her since. The blind man informed me some evenings later that she was sick and in the “ashpitl” (hospital). Her sickness was caused, as she said, by telling me tales in the daytime. Many of the old people will tell tales only in the evening; it is not right, not lucky, to do so during daylight.

The Poetry Of Poe…

The Bells

HEAR the sledges with the bells –
Silver bells !
What a world of merriment their melody foretells !
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night !
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight ;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.


Hear the mellow wedding bells
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells !
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight !
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon !
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells !
How it swells !
How it dwells
On the Future ! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells !


Hear the loud alarum bells –
Brazen bells !
What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells !
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright !
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor
Now — now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells !
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair !
How they clang, and clash, and roar !
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air !
Yet the ear, it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows ;
Yet, the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells –
Of the bells –
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells –
In the clamour and the clangour of the bells !


Hear the tolling of the bells –
Iron bells !
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels !
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy meaning of their tone !
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people — ah, the people –
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All alone,
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone –
They are neither man nor woman –
They are neither brute nor human –
They are Ghouls: –
And their king it is who tolls ;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls, rolls,
A pæan from the bells !
And his merry bosom swells
With the pæan of the bells !
And he dances, and he yells ;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the pæan of the bells –
Of the bells :
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells –
Of the bells, bells, bells –
To the sobbing of the bells ;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells –
Of the bells, bells, bells –
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells –
Bells, bells, bells –
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace-
Radiant palace- reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion-
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!
Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow,
(This- all this- was in the olden
Time long ago,)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically,
To a lute’s well-tuned law,
Round about a throne where, sitting
In state his glory well-befitting,
The ruler of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch’s high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!- for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh- but smile no more.

The Conqueror Worm

Lo! ’tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.
Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly-
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Woe!

That motley drama- oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore,
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!- it writhes!- with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.

Out- out are the lights- out all!
And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.


Dr. John – I Walk On Giilded Splinters


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