This isn't the kind of a poem I would normally read or post but as I skim through some of the references in Google books about the Dark Knight this 1830 poem (It could have been published before that date but that is the earliest I found it.) seems to have influenced a far amount of writings during the 19th Century. This 1830 poem was printed in "The Edinburgh Literary Journal." The following year, Bell published a book of poems "Summer and Winter Hours." in which he included this poem.
THE DARK KNIGHT A BALLAD.
By Henry G. Bell
There came a dark knight from a far countrie,
And no one ever saw his face, for he
Wore his black vizor down continuallie.
He came to a gay bridal, where the bride
Stood, in rich robes, her destined lord beside,
Who gazed upon her with a joyful pride.
And there was music in the sunny sky,
And mirthful voices made a glad reply,—
And there was music in the young bride's eye.
Yet ever and anon her look would fall
On the dark knight who stood apart from all,—
Dark as his shadow, moveless on the wall.
The words were spoken, and the bridal o'er,
And now the mirth grew louder than before;
Why stands the dark knight silent at the door?
The hour grows late, and one by one depart
The guests, with bounding step and merry heart,—
Methought I saw that new-wed ladie start.
N'one in her father's hall are left but she
And her young bridegroom, who, as none may see,
Hath twined his arm around her lovinglie.
Yes,—there is still a third—the vizor'd knight,—
Mark you the glancing of his corslet bright,
Mark you his eye that glares with such strange light?
He moves on slowly through the lofty room,
And as he moves there falls a deeper gloom,—
That heavy tread, why sounds it of the tomb?
And through the castle there was stillness deep,
A drearier stillness than the calm of sleep,—
Closer, in silent awe, the lovers creep.
—A shriek was heard at midnight, such as broke
On every ear, like the first pealing stroke
Of the alarm bell, and the sleepers woke!
In the old hall where fitful moonlight shone,
There lay the bridegroom and the bride alone,
Pale, dead, and cold as monumental stone,—
A vizor'd helm was near, but the dark knight was gone.