The Graveyard Rabbit
by Frank Lebby Stanton
In the white moonlight, where the willow waves,  He halfway gallops among the graves—  A tiny ghost in the gloom and gleam,  Content to dwell where the dead men dream,  
But wary still!         For they plot him ill;  For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm  (May God defend us!) to shield from harm.   Over the shimmering slabs he goes—  Every grave in the dark he knows;         But his nest is hidden from human eye  Where headstones broken on old graves lie.   Wary still!  For they plot him ill;  For the graveyard rabbit, though sceptics scoff,          Charmeth the witch and the wizard off!   The black man creeps, when the night is dim,  Fearful, still, on the track of him;  Or fleetly follows the way he runs,  For he heals the hurts of the conjured ones.           Wary still!  For they plot him ill;  The soul’s bewitched that would find release,—  To the graveyard rabbit go for peace!   He holds their secret—he brings a boon          Where winds moan wild in the dark o’ the moon;  And gold shall glitter and love smile sweet  To whoever shall sever his furry feet!   Wary still!  For they plot him ill;         For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm  (May God defend us!) to shield from harm.
Illustration by Jason Courtney from Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood.
Frank Lebby Stanton (1857-1927) Early Southern Renaissance Literary Movement.
Stanton was the first columnist for the Atlanta Constitution, and appointed as the first Poet Laureate for the State of Georgia in 1925. 

The Graveyard Rabbit

by Frank Lebby Stanton

In the white moonlight, where the willow waves,  
He halfway gallops among the graves—  
A tiny ghost in the gloom and gleam,  
Content to dwell where the dead men dream,  

But wary still!         
For they plot him ill;  
For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm  
(May God defend us!) to shield from harm.  
 
Over the shimmering slabs he goes—  
Every grave in the dark he knows;         
But his nest is hidden from human eye  
Where headstones broken on old graves lie.  
 
Wary still!  
For they plot him ill;  
For the graveyard rabbit, though sceptics scoff,          
Charmeth the witch and the wizard off!  
 
The black man creeps, when the night is dim,  
Fearful, still, on the track of him;  
Or fleetly follows the way he runs,  
For he heals the hurts of the conjured ones.          
 
Wary still!  
For they plot him ill;  
The soul’s bewitched that would find release,—  
To the graveyard rabbit go for peace!  
 
He holds their secret—he brings a boon          
Where winds moan wild in the dark o’ the moon;  
And gold shall glitter and love smile sweet  
To whoever shall sever his furry feet!  
 
Wary still!  
For they plot him ill;         
For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm  
(May God defend us!) to shield from harm.

Illustration by Jason Courtney from Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood.

Frank Lebby Stanton (1857-1927) Early Southern Renaissance Literary Movement.

Stanton was the first columnist for the Atlanta Constitution, and appointed as the first Poet Laureate for the State of Georgia in 1925.