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Archive for November, 2010

When the night wind howls
In the chimney cowls,
And the bat in the moonlight flies,
And inky clouds
Like funeral shrouds
Sail over the midnight skies;
When the footpads quail
At the nightbird’s wail,
And black dogs bay at the moon–
Then is the spectres’ holiday!
Then is the ghosts’ high noon!

As the sob of the breeze
Sweeps over the trees,
And the mists lie low on the fen,
From grey tombstones
Are gathered the bones
That once were women and men;
And away they go,
With a mop and a mow,
To the revel that ends too soon;
For cockcrow limits our holiday–
The dead of the night’s high noon!

And then each ghost
With his lady-toast
To their churchyard beds take flight;
With a kiss, perhaps,
On her lantern chaps,
And a grisly, grim “Good night!”
Till the welcome knell
Of the midnight bell
Rings forth its jolliest tune,
And ushers in our next high holiday–
The dead of the night’s high noon!

— from *Ruddigore,* 1887

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