The Homely Ghost

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I shall come backVery quietly, very softly,A little brown shadow.

I shall not comeWhen the moon is white like a bone,And the house-dogs howl.Nor on a dark nightWith uneasy winds,When the ivy scratches the window,And the paper stirs on the wall.

I shall come backIn the Autumn,In the early twilight.I shall wear a russet cloakAnd have a basket on my armWith red apples and brown nuts in it,And golden honey-comb.

I shall watch the children playingAnd they will not be afraid.The old woman will just walk past and nod;Walk past, and into the beech-woodWith its coppery leaves on the ground,And down by the pond, and the fieldsWith their big yellow ricks.

I shall pass the cottage-windows--Those with red curtains and glinting with firelight.I shall watch the blue smoke from the chimneysAnd think of the groups around the fire.Will any be thinking of me?I don't mind--I am just a little brown shadow, flitting past.Must I leave it?Cold and alone, must I goThrough the wilds beyond EarthTo the courts where the white angels standAugust, majestic?

Be certain, I shall come back.

© Nicholls Marjory