Phantasmagoria and Other Poems/Phantasmagoria/Canto VII
"What's this?" I pondered. "Have I slept?
Or can I have been drinking?"
But soon a gentler feeling crept
Upon me, and I sat and wept
An hour or so, like winking.
Then, as my tears could never bring
My favourite phantom back,
It seemed to me the proper thing
To mix another glass, and sing
The following Coronach.
'And art thou gone, beloved ghost?
Best of familiars!
Nay then, farewell, my duckling roast,
Farewell, farewell, my tea and toast,
My meerschaum and cigars!
'The hues of life are dull and gray,
The sweets of life insipid,
When thou, my charmer, art away—
Old brick, or rather, let me say,
Instead of singing verse the third,
I ceased; abruptly, rather—
But, after such a splendid word,
I felt that it would be absurd
To try it any farther.
"No need for Bones to hurry so!"
Thought I. "In fact, I doubt
If it was worth his while to go—
And who is Tibbs, I'd like to know,
To make such work about?
"If Tibbs is anything like me,
It's possible," I said,
"He won't be over-pleased to be
Dropped in upon at half-past three,
After he's snug in bed.
"And if Bones plagues him anyhow—
Squeaking and all the rest of it,
As he was doing here just now—
I prophesy there'll be a row,
And Tibbs will have the best of it!"
So with a yawn I went my way
To seek the welcome downy,
And slept, and dreamed till break of day
Of Poltergeist and Fetch and Fay
And Leprechaun and Brownie!
And never since, by sea or land,
On mountain or on plain,
'Mid Arctic snow, or Afric sand—
Not even 'in the Strand, the Strand!'
Has Bones appeared again.
A Quaker friend accosted me—
Tall, stiff, as any column—
"Thee'rt out of sorts, I fear," said he;
"Verily I am grieved to see
Thee go'st so grave and solemn."
"The ghost's not grave," I said, "but gay;
Not solemn, but convivial:
I'm 'out of spirits' you should say,
Not 'out of sorts'—" he turned away,
Thinking the answer trivial.
For years I've not been visited
By any kind of Sprite;
Yet still they echo in my head,
Those parting words, so kindly said,
"Old Turnip-top, good-night!"