Another clap of thunder burst over them; the lightning rolled in ten thousand fantastic shapes, along the enameled green, and appeared burning up the verdure, and transfixing every living animal that came within reach of its malevolence. The lake appeared one sheet of rolling fire, and, as they viewed it from the pavilion, they thought it emitted from amidst the sulphurous flames several hideous phantoms, whose dreadful howlings sounded on the ear, and struck each trembling hearer with more than mortal horror. The frightful fiends quitted the lake, and approached the pavilion, where, overcome by their fears, the whole assembly sunk upon their knees, earnestly imploring the protection of Heaven.
The spectres advanced, and, in a few minutes, surrounded the pavilion. It is impossible to say whether the terrors of those within, or the horrors of those without, were the greatest; both were terrible. The fiends formed a circle round the trembling group, and while the whole system of nature appeared convulsed by contending elements, the horrid phantoms performed a mystic dance; loud and tremulous claps of thunder rent the air, as they sang with infernal rapture the following lines:
Round his circle let us hie,
Swifter than the eagle’s eye.
Let us tune the mystic lay;
Let us mark our destin’d prey;
Let us snatch a burning brand.
Sear each caitiff in his hand;
Then each subject we shall know,
Whether here or far below.
Let not virtue, let not fear
Claim from us a single tear.
Tear his vitals, drink his gore.
Then our solemn rites are o’er.
This ended, they rushed tumultuously into the pavilion. The senses of all there had been for some minutes harrowed up by terrors inexpressible. They had involuntarily dropped upon their knees, and with the utmost fervency imploring Heaven for protection. Each fiend caught, with diabolical eagerness, its desired object, and they were about to put their horrid threats into execution, when…
from The Haunted Palace or The Horrors of Ventoliene: A Romance
by Mrs. Yorke, 1801