The Ghosts’ Moonshine

       I.

       It is midnight, my wedded;
          Let us lie under
       The tempest bright undreaded,*
          In the warm thunder:
(Tremble and weep not! What can you fear?)
          My heart’s best wish is thine,—
       That thou wert white, and bedded
          On the softest bier,
             In the ghost’s moonshine.
          Is that the wind? No, no;
          Only two devils, that blow
          Through the murderer’s ribs to and fro,
             In the ghosts’ moonshine.

       II.

       Who is there, she said afraid, yet
          Stirring and awaking
       The poor old dead? His spade, it
          Is only making,—
(Tremble and weep not! What do you crave?)
          Where yonder grasses twine,
       A pleasant bed, my maid, that
          Children call a grave,
             In the cold moonshine.
          Is that the wind? No, no;
          Only two devils, that blow
          Through the murderer’s ribs to and fro,
             In the ghosts’ moonshine.

       III.

       What doest thou strain above her
          Lovely throat’s whiteness?
       A silken chain, to cover
          Her bosom’s brightness?
(Tremble and weep not: what do you fear?)
          —My blood is spilt like wine,
       Thou hast strangled and slain me, lover,
          Thou hast stabbed me, dear,
             In the ghosts’ moonshine.
          Is that the wind? No, no;
          Only her goblin doth blow
          Through the murderer’s ribs to and fro,
             In its own moonshine.

[Kelsall, 1851]

[* – Donner (1935) gives “The tempest bright, my dreaded,” instead of “The tempest bright undreaded”  —R.G.]