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PHANTASMAGORIA - CANTO I (The Trystyng )
ONE winter night, at half-past nine,
Cold, tired, and cross, and muddy,
I had come home, too late to dine,
And supper, with cigars and wine,
Was waiting in the study.
There was a strangeness in the room,
And Something white and wavy
Was standing near me in the gloom -
I took it for the carpet-broom
Left by that careless slavey.
But presently the Thing began
To shiver and to sneeze:
On which I said "Come, come, my man!
That's a most inconsiderat e plan.
Less noise there, if you please!"
"I've caught a cold," the Thing replies,
"Out there upon the landing."
I turned to look in some surprise,
And there, before my very eyes,
A little Ghost was standing!
He trembled when he caught my eye,
And got behind a chair.
"How came you here," I said, "and why?
I never saw a thing so shy.
Come out! Don't shiver there!"
He said "I'd gladly tell you how,
And also tell you why;
But" (here he gave a little bow)
"You're in so bad a temper now,
You'd think it all a lie.
"And as to being in a fright,
Allow me to remark
That Ghosts have just as good a right
In every way, to fear the light,
As Men to fear the dark."
"No plea," said I, "can well excuse
Such cowardice in you:
For Ghosts can visit when they choose,
Whereas we Humans ca'n't refuse
To grant the interview."
He said "A flutter of alarm
Is not unnatural, is it?
I really feared you meant some harm:
But, now I see that you are calm,
Let me explain my visit.
"Houses are classed, I beg to state,
According to the number
Of Ghosts that they accommodate:
(The Tenant merely counts as WEIGHT,
With Coals and other lumber).
"This is a 'one-ghost' house, and you
When you arrived last summer,
May have remarked a Spectre who
Was doing all that Ghosts can do
To welcome the new-comer.
Re: The Excruciating Tale Of Matthew McGee And The Sorry Psychic Occurrence
My boozing buddy Matt McGee
Is not the finest wit,
The Irish farmer sure can be
A monumental twit.
He has no wife and drinks all
Night, cold Guinness in a jar,
While perching on his favourite stool,
Located by the bar.
Our local inn, The Royal Crown
Is held in real esteem
It serves the finest beer in town
And has a great darts team!
One wild March night a man came in,
A stranger to these parts,
He bought himself a Gilbey's gin,
And watched the guys play darts.
"'Tis said dis place is haunted, sir,"
Matt grinned at him then laughed,
"Why, even now oi see ye have a
Spirit in your glass!"
The stranger uttered to McGee:
"How weird you mentioned this!
My occupation is, you see,
A psychic specialist!
"Tomorrow I am speaking at
Your local civic hall,
On ghosts and eerie things like that,
You're welcome, guys, to call!"
Well, Matt and I, we went off on
His tractor the next day,
To see that man (his name was Ron),
Hear what he had to say.
"Has anybody seen a ghost?"
Ron asked us right away;
And twenty hands went up, that's almost
Half the hall, I'd say.
"Wow! what a lot of hands!" yelled he,
"That is a nice surprise!
But I've another thing to ask, be
Truthful, tell no lies.
"Has anyone here touched a ghost?"
Ron ventured, "hand on heart?"
Some more went up, well three at most,
(One was the village tart).
"Wowee!" said Ron, I'm stunned
To see you've touched a heavenly host!
Now tell me true, has anyone
Here made love to a ghost?"
Then from the back, one voice came strong,
"Yes me! Oi have!" Matt cried.
"You've made love to a ghost?" gasped Ron,
"Wow! ... no word of a lie?"
Matt mumbled, "Wait a minute sir,
Er... did ye say "a ghost?
Oi beg your pardon, oi misheard,
... Oi thought ye said 'a goat'!"