Halloween Failure

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Halloween Failure  (1910) 
by Carlyle Smith

Published in Harper's Weekly, Oct. 29, 1910.

Who's dat peekin' in de do'?
    Set mah heart a-beatin'!
Thought I see' a spook for sho
    On mah way to meetin'.
Heerd a rustlin' all aroun',
    Trees all sort o' jiggled;
An' along de frosty groun'
    Funny shadders wriggled.

Who's dat by de winder-sill?
    Gittin' sort o' skeery;
Feets is feelin' kind o' chill,
    Eyes is sort o' teary.
'Most as nervous as a coon
    When de dawgs is barkin',
Er a widder when some spoon
    Comes along a-sparkin'.

Whass dat creepin' up de road,
    Quiet like a ferret,
Hoppin' sof'ly as a toad?
    Maybe hit's a sperrit!
Lordy! hope dey ain't no ghos'
    Come to tell me howdy.
I ain't got no use for those
    Fantoms damp an' cloudy.

Whass dat standin' by de fence
    Wid its eyes a-yearnin',
Drivin' out mah common-sense
    Wid its glances burnin'?
Don't dass skeercely go to bed
    Wid dem spookses roun' me.
Ain't no res' fo' dis yere head
    When dem folks surroun' me.

Whass dat groanin' soun' I hear
    Off dar by de gyardin?
Lordy! Lordy! Lordy dear,
    Grant dis sinner pardon!
I won't nebber—I declar'
    Ef it ain't my Sammy!
Sambo, what yo' doin' dar?
    Yo' can't skeer yo' mammy!

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.

The author died in 1922, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 99 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.