Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Download links will be available after you disable the ad blocker and reload the page.

Rhyme? And Reason?

Download options:

  • 3.94 MB
  • 6.73 MB



CANTO I. The Trystyng. One winter night, at half-past nine,Cold, tired, and cross, and muddy,I had come home, too late to dine,And supper, with cigars and wine,Was waiting in the study.There was a strangeness in the room,And Something white and wavyWas standing near me in the gloom—I took it for the carpet-broomLeft by that careless slavey.




But presently the Thing beganTo shiver and to sneeze:On which I said “Come, come, my man!That’s a most inconsiderate plan.Less noise there, if you please!” “I’ve caught a cold,” the Thing replies,“Out there upon the landing.”I turned to look in some surprise,And there, before my very eyes,A little Ghost was standing!He trembled when he caught my eye,And got behind a chair.“How came you here,” I said, “and why?I never saw a thing so shy.Come out! Don’t shiver there!”He said “I’d gladly tell you how,And also tell you why;But” (here he gave a little bow)“You’re in so bad a temper now,You’d think it all a lie.“And as to being in a fright,Allow me to remarkThat Ghosts have just as good a right,In every way, to fear the light,As Men to fear the dark.” “No plea,” said I, “can well excuseSuch cowardice in you:For Ghosts can visit when they choose,Whereas we Humans ca’n’t refuseTo grant the interview.”He said “A flutter of alarmIs not unnatural, is it?I really feared you meant some harm:But, now I see that you are calm,Let me explain my visit.“Houses are classed, I beg to state,According to the numberOf Ghosts that they accommodate:(The Tenant merely counts as weight,With Coals and other lumber).“This is a ‘one-ghost’ house, and youWhen you arrived last summer,May have remarked a Spectre whoWas doing all that Ghosts can doTo welcome the new-comer. “In Villas this is always done—However cheaply rented:For, though of course there’s less of funWhen there is only room for one,Ghosts have to be contented.“That Spectre left you on the Third—Since then you’ve not been haunted:For, as he never sent us word,’Twas quite by accident we heardThat any one was wanted.“A Spectre has first choice, by right,In filling up a vacancy;Then Phantom, Goblin, Elf, and Sprite—If all these fail them, they inviteThe nicest Ghoul that they can see.“The Spectres said the place was low,And that you kept bad wine:So, as a Phantom had to go,And I was first, of course, you know,I couldn’t well decline.” “No doubt,” said I, “they settled whoWas fittest to be sent:Yet still to choose a brat like you,To haunt a man of forty-two,Was no great compliment!”“I’m not so young, Sir,” he replied,“As you might think. The fact is,In caverns by the water-side,And other places that I’ve tried,I’ve had a lot of practice:“But I have never taken yetA strict domestic part,And in my flurry I forgetThe Five Good Rules of EtiquetteWe have to know by heart.”My sympathies were warming fastTowards the little fellow:He was so utterly aghastAt having found a Man at last,And looked so scared and yellow....