W.S. Gilbert

The Ghosts' High Noon

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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 the moon,
Then is the spectres' holiday - 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 tombstones 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!

And then each ghost with his ladye-toast to their churchyard beds
take 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 our next high holiday - the dead of the night's high
noon!

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W.S. Gilbert