Edgar Saltus (1855-1921)

"Mr. Saltus is one of the most noteworthy of the younger school of novelists. His Mr. Incoul's Misadventure, Truth about Tristram Varick, Eden, and Transactions in Hearts are full of promise and brilliant talent. In the last named, however, his mannerisms are inartistically obvious, and he takes strange and inexcusable liberties with our language. He has established his position as the foremost literary exponent of pessimism in America, and that he is a worthy disciple of Schopenhauer is proved by his two striking works, The Anatomy of Negation and The Philosophy of Disenchantment. A third series of studies in contemporary pessimism is announced as forthcoming under the title Cimmeria." (Sharp)

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My heart a haunted manor is, where Time
Has fumbled noiselessly with mouldering hands:
At sunset ghosts troop out in sudden bands,
At noon 'tis vacant as a house of crime;

But when, unseen as sound, the night-winds climb
The higher keys with their unstilled demands,
It wakes to memories of other lands,
And thrills with echoes of enchanted rhyme.

Then, through the dreams and hopes of earlier years,
A fall of phantom footsteps on the stair
Approaches near, and ever nearer yet,
A voice rings through my life's deserted ways:
I turn to greet thee, Love. The empty air
Holds but the spectre of my own regret.

(Text from American Sonnets)