The Messenger

by H. P. Lovecraft

(first pub. Weird Tales)
The thing he said would come in the night at three 
From the old churchyard on the hill below; 
But crouching by an oak fire's wholesome glow, 
I tried to tell myself it could not be. 
Surely, I mused, it was pleasantry 
Devised by one who did not truly know 
The Elder Sign, bequeathed from long ago, 
That sets the fumbling forms of darkness free. 
He had not meant it - no - but still I lit 
Another lamp as starry Leo climbed 
Out of the Seekonk, and a steeple chimed 
Three - and the firelight faded, bit by bit. 
Then at the door that cautious rattling came - 
And the mad truth devoured me like a flame! 
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