Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Poem and a Prayer

WHEN the night wind howls
In the chimney cowls,
And the bat in the moonlight flies,
And the inky clouds,
Like funeral shrouds,
Sail over the midnight skies--

When the footpads quail
At the night-bird’s wail,
And black dogs bay at the moon,
Then is the spectre’s holiday--Then is the ghost’s high noon!

Ha! Ha!

Then is the ghost’s high noon!

As the sob of the breeze
Sweeps over the trees
And the mists lie low on the fen,
From grey tomb-stones
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 cock crow limits our holiday--The dead of the night’s high noon!

Ha! Ha!

The dead of the night’s high noon!

And then each ghost
With his ladye-toast
To their church yard 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!

Ha! Ha!

The dead of the night’s high noon!
by: W.S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

O Lord,
From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!


Anonymous said...

Hello Father Bab--er, Bob!

Another "Ruddigore" fan in Vernon! I never thought there would be more than me!

My favorite line comes right after this song, when his ancestors want to know what he's done that's evil lately, and he brags that he cheated on his taxes. They all laugh derisively, saying "That doesn't count, EVERYONE does that!"


Ron Dupont

RFSJ said...

Hi Ron,

Actually, I have loved this Halloween poem for many years - My Dad read it to me a lot. I didn't know it was from Ruddigore until a few years ago when I googled the text! But I'm a pretty big G&S fan in general.



Doorman-Priest said...

I was in a production of Ruddigore!