Poem by Robert von Ranke Graves (1895-1985)

Ghost Raddled


     "Come, surly fellow, come!    A song!"
         What, madmen?    Sing to you?
     Choose from the clouded tales of wrong
         And terror I bring to you.

     Of a night so torn with cries,
         Honest men sleeping
     Start awake with glaring eyes,
         Bone-chilled, flesh creeping.

     Of spirits in the web hung room
         Up above the stable,
     Groans, knockings in the gloom,
         The dancing table.

     Of demons in the dry well
         That cheep and mutter,
     Clanging of an unseen bell,
         Blood choking the gutter.

     Of lust frightful, past belief,
         Lurking unforgotten,
     Unrestrainable endless grief
         From breasts long rotten.

     A song?    What laughter or what song
         Can this house remember?
     Do flowers and butterflies belong
         To a blind December?



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Written on 2022-09-19 at 00:00

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