Monday, 16 July 2012

Mary's Ghost by Thomas Hood

This delightfully macabre little poem appeared as a chapter header in The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar. I liked it so much I had to share it. His poems such as this one and "The Bridge of Sighs" reflect the Victorian fascination with death.

"Mary's Ghost" by Thomas Hood

Thanks to Frank T. Zumbach of Munich, Germany, who supplied this etext to The Literary Gothic

'Twas in the middle of the night,
 To sleep young William tried,
When Mary´s ghost came stealing in,
 And stood at his bed-side.

O William dear! O William dear! 5
 My rest eternal ceases;
Alas! my everlasting peace
 Is broken into pieces.

I thought the last of all my cares
 Would end with my last minute; 10
But tho´ I went to my long home
 I didn´t stay long in it.

The body-snatchers they have come,
 And made a snatch at me;
It´s very hard them kind of men  15
 Won´t let a body be!

You thought that I was buried deep
 Quite decent like and chary,
But from her grave in Mary-bone
 They´ve come and boned your Mary.  20

The arm that used to take your arm
 Is took to Dr. Vyse;
And both my legs are gone to walk
 The hospital at Guy´s.

I vow´d that you should have my hand, 25
 But fate gives us denial;
You´ll find it there, at Dr. Bell´s
 In spirits and a phial.

As for my feet, the little feet
 You used to call so pretty,  30
There´s one, I know, in Bedford Row,
 The t´other´s in the city.

I can´t tell where my head is gone,
 But Doctor Carpue can:
As for my trunk, it´s all pack´d up 35
 To go by Pickford´s van.

I wished you´d go to Mr. P.
 And save me such a ride;
I don´t half like the outside place,
 They´ve took for my inside. 40

The cock it crows - I must begone!
 My William we must part!
But I´ll be yours in death, altho´
 Sir Astley has my heart.

Don´t go to weep upon my grave, 45
 And think that there I be;
They haven´t left an atom there
 Of my anatomie.

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