Run round the spot where the old Abbey stood,
And are seen in the neighboring glebe-land and wood;
More especially still, if it’s stormy and windy,
You may hear them for miles kicking up their wild shindy;
And that once in a gale Of wind, sleet and hail
They frighten’d the horses and upset the mail.
What ’tis breaks the rest Of those
Would now be a thing rather hard to be guessed,
Though some say the Squire, on his death-bed, confess’d
That on Ascalon plain, When the bones of the slain
Were collected that day, and packed up in a chest,
Caulk’d and made water-tight,
By command of the Knight,
Though the legs and the arms they’d got all pretty right,
And the body itself in a decentish plight,
Yet the Friar’s Pericranium was nowhere in sight;
So, to save themselves trouble, they pick’d up instead,
And popp’d on the shoulders a Saracen’s Head!
Thus the Knight in the terms of his penance had fail’d,
And the Pope’s absolution, of course, naught avail’d.
Now, though this might be, It don’t seem to
With one thing which, I own, is a poser to me,—
I mean, as the miracle, wrought at the shrine
Containing the bones brought from far Palestine
Were so great and notorious, ’tis hard to combine
This fact with the reason these people assign,
Or suppose that the head of the murder’d Divine
Could be aught but what Yankees would call “genu-ine.”
’Tis a very nice question—but be’t as it may,
The Ghost of Sir Ingoldsby (ci-devant Bray),
It is boldly affirm’d by the folks great and small
About Milton and Chaulk, and round Cobham Hall,
Still on Candlemas-day haunts the old ruin’d wall
And that many have seen him, and more heard him squall.
So I think, when the facts of the case you recall,
My inference, reader, you’ll fairly forestall,
Viz: that, spite of the hope Held out by the Pope,
Sir Ingoldsby Bray was d——d after all!
Foot-pages, and Servants of ev’ry degree,
In livery or out of it, listen to me!
See what comes of lying!—don’t join in the league
To humbug your master or aid an intrigue!
Ladies! married and single, from this understand
How foolish it is to send letters by hand!
Don’t stand for the sake of a penny,—but when you
’ve a billet to send To a lover or friend,
Put it into the post, and don’t cheat the revenue!
Reverend gentlemen! you who are given to roam,
Don’t keep up a soft correspondence at home!
But while you’re abroad lead respectable lives;
Love your neighbours, and welcome,—but don’t love their wives!
And, as bricklayers cry from the tiles and the leads
When they’re shovelling the snow off, “TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEADS”!