Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Lagniappe: When the Night Wind Howls

From Ruddigore by Gilbert and Sullivan.
When the night wind howls in the chimney cowls, and the bat in the moonlight flies,
And 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 spectres' holiday – then is the ghosts' high-noon!

Ha! ha!
For then is the ghosts' 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 cockcrow limits our holiday – the dead of the night's high-noon!

Ha! ha!
For then is the ghosts' high-noon!

And then each ghost with his ladye-toast to their churchyard beds takes 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!
For then is the ghosts' high-noon!


  1. Hi Julie, I try to share this on Facebook and this is what I get:
    Happy Catholic*: When the Night Wind Howls
    I can't hear you ...(If you're leaving an anonymous message because of trouble entering the system, please "sign" with a "moniker" of some sort at the end of the message. All truly anonymous messages will be deleted as spam. Thanks!)

    1. Hi Michael ... it's something to do with Blogger and I don't know how to get around it. Sorry!

      But I'm glad you liked the poem. :-)

  2. This made me smile. Gilbert and Sullivan is a favorite of mine, and Ruddigore is probably #2 behind the Mikado in my ranking of their operas. I suppose I should add that to the things to do before we leave--see some G&S in England.

  3. However I have to correct you there, as in the second and third verses after the ha ha, it doesn't finish with "For then is the ghosts' high noon!, but what the actual verse finishes with which is "The dead of the night's high noon". All the best.