A merry time had we!
Each seated on his favourite post,
We chumped and chawed the buttered toast
They gave us for our tea."
"Don't say it's not, because
It's known as well as Bradshaw's Guide!"
(The Ghost uneasily replied
He hardly thought it was).
I almost think it is -
'Three little Ghosteses' were set
'On posteses,' you know, and ate
Their 'buttered toasteses.'
I turned to search the shelf.
"Don't stir!" he cried. "We'll do without it:
I now remember all about it;
I wrote the thing myself.
At least my agent said it did:
Some literary swell, who saw
It, thought it seemed adapted for
The Magazine he edited.
My mother was a Fairy.
The notion had occurred to her,
The children would be happier,
If they were taught to vary.
And, when it once began, she
Brought us all out in different ways -
One was a Pixy, two were Fays,
Another was a Banshee;
And gave a lot of trouble;
Next came a Poltergeist and Ghoul,
And then two Trolls (which broke the rule),
A Goblin, and a Double -
He added with a yawn,
"I'll take a pinch)--next came an Elf,
And then a Phantom (that's myself),
And last, a Leprechaun.
Dressed in the usual white:
I stood and watched them in the hall,
And couldn't make them out at all,
They seemed so strange a sight.
That looked all head and sack;
But Mother told me not to stare,
And then she twitched me by the hair,
And punched me in the back.
Had been a Spectre born.
But what's the use?" (He heaved a sigh.)
"THEY are the ghost-nobility,
And look on US with scorn.
When I was barely six,
I went out with an older one -
And just at first I thought it fun,
And learned a lot of tricks.
Wherever I was sent:
I've often sat and howled for hours,
Drenched to the skin with driving showers,
Upon a battlement.
When you begin to speak:
This is the newest thing in tone--"
And here (it chilled me to the bone)
He gave an AWFUL squeak.
That sounds an easy thing?
Try it yourself, my little dear!
It took ME something like a year,
With constant practising.
And caught the double sob,
You're pretty much where you began:
Just try and gibber if you can!
That's something LIKE a job!
I'm sure you couldn't do it, e-
ven if you practised night and day,
Unless you have a turn that way,
And natural ingenuity.
Of Ghosts, in days of old,
Who 'gibbered in the Roman streets,'
Dressed, if you recollect, in sheets -
They must have found it cold.
In dressing as a Double;
But, though it answers as a puff,
It never has effect enough
To make it worth the trouble.
I had for being funny.
The setting-up is always worst:
Such heaps of things you want at first,
One must be made of money!
With skull, cross-bones, and sheet;
Blue lights to burn (say) two an hour,
Condensing lens of extra power,
And set of chains complete:
The fitting on the robe -
And testing all the coloured fire -
The outfit of itself would tire
The patience of a Job!
The Haunted-House Committee:
I've often known them make a fuss
Because a Ghost was French, or Russ,
Or even from the City!
For one, the IRISH brogue is:
And then, for all you have to do,
One pound a week they offer you,
And find yourself in Bogies!