The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

The Ghost.

A Very Serious Ballad.

“I’ll be your second.”— LISTON.

In Middle Row, some years ago,

There lived one Mr. Brown;

And many folks considered him

The stoutest man in town.

But Brown and stout will both wear out —

One Friday he died hard,

And left a widow’d wife to mourn,

At twenty pence a yard.

Now widow B. in two short months

Thought mourning quite a tax;

And wished, like Mr. Wilberforce,

To manumit her blacks.

With Mr. Street she soon was sweet;

The thing came thus about:

She asked him in at home, and then

At church, he asked her out!

Assurance such as this the man

In ashes could not stand;

So like a Phoenix he rose up

Against the Hand in Hand!

One dreary night the angry sprite

Appeared before her view;

It came a little after one,

But she was after two!

“O Mrs. B., O Mrs. B.!

Are these your sorrow’s deeds,

Already getting up a flame,

To burn your widows’ weeds?

“It’s not so long since I have left

For aye the mortal scene;

My memory — like Rogers’s —

Should still be bound in green!

“Yet if my face you still retrace,

I almost have a doubt —

I’m like an old Forget-me-not,

With all the leaves torn out!

“To think that on that finger joint

Another pledge should cling;

O Bess! upon my very soul

It struck like ‘Knock and Ring,’”

“A ton of marble on my breast

Can’t hinder my return;

Your conduct, ma’am, has set my blood

A-boiling in my urn!”

“Remember, oh! remember, how

The marriage rite did run —

If ever we one flesh should be

’Tis now — when I have none!

“And you, Sir — once a bosom friend —

Of perjured faith convict,

As ghostly toe can give no blow,

Consider you are kick’d.

“A hollow voice is all I have,

But this I tell you plain,

Marry come up! — you marry, ma’am,

And I’ll come up again.”

More he had said, but chanticleer

The spritely shade did shock

With sudden crow — and off he went,

Like fowling-piece at cock!

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hood/thomas/poetical-works/poem119.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:51