The Ghost. - A Very Serious Ballad.

A poem by Thomas Hood

"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!

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