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THE FAKENHAM GHOST, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: The lawns were dry in euston park
Last Line: Perhaps was just as true.
Subject(s): Ghosts; Supernatural

THE lawns were dry in Euston park
(Here truth inspires my tale),
The lonely footpath, still and dark,
Led over hill and dale.

Benighted was an ancient dame,
And fearful haste she made
To join the Vale of Fakenham,
And hail its willow shade.

Her footsteps knew no idle stops,
But followed faster still;
And echoed to the darksome copse
That whispered on the hill.

Where clamorous rooks, yet scarcely hushed,
Bespoke a peopled shade;
And many a wing the foliage brushed
And hovering circuits made.

The dappled herd of grazing deer,
That sought the shades by day,
Now started from her path with fear,
And gave the stranger way.

Darker it grew, and darker fears
Came o'er the troubled mind;
When now, a short quick step she hears
Come patting close behind.

She turned—it stopt—nought could she see
Upon the gloomy plain!
But, as she strove the Sprite to flee,
She heard the same again.

Now terror seized her quaking frame;
For, where the path was bare,
The trotting ghost kept on the same!
She muttered many a prayer.

Yet once again, amidst her fright,
She tried what sight could do;
When, through the cheating gloom of night,
A monster stood in view.

Regardless of whate'er she felt,
It followed down the plain!
She owned her sins, and down she knelt,
And said her prayers again.

Then on she sped, and hope grew strong,
The white park-gate in view;
Which pushing hard, so long it swung,
That ghost and all passed through.

Loud fell the gate against the post!
Her heart-strings like to crack:
For much she feared the grizzly ghost
Would leap upon her back.

Still on, pat, pat, the goblin went,
As it had done before—
Her strength and resolution spent,
She fainted at the door.

Out came her husband, much surprised;
Out came her daughter dear;
Good-natured souls! all unadvised
Of what they had to fear.

The candle's gleam pierced through the night
Some short space o'er the green;
And there the little trotting Sprite
Distinctly might be seen.

An ass's foal had lost its dam
Within the spacious park;
And, simple as the playful lamb,
Had followed in the dark.

No Goblin he; no imp of sin;
No crimes had e'er he known;
They took the shaggy stranger in,
And reared him as their own.

His little hoofs would rattle round
Upon the cottage floor;
The matron learned to love the sound
That frightened her before.

A favourite the Ghost became,
And 'twas his fate to thrive;
And long he lived, and spread his fame,
And kept the joke alive.

For many a laugh went through the vale,
And some conviction too;
Each thought some other goblin tale,
Perhaps was just as true.

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