From the Collections

Maryknoll Hallowe’en

When the shades of night have blottedHiking 

Out the last October sun,

And the moon is beaming brightly

So as not to miss the fun,


Then too do the merry Knollers

Hasten to the orchard grove,

Hand in hand, to keep their spirits;

For tonight all spirits rove.


Rallied in a mystic circle

Round the 13th apple tree,

There they challenge all the ghosties

With “to be or not to be.”


Should the hour be unpropitious

For the spirits to appear,

Someone will recite a story,

Talking loud to banish fear.GatheringApples_1915Oct


Or some crier, with vibrations

Wrongfully yclept a “voice,”

Thrills to find that others listen,

They, alas, have had no choice.


Why this sudden hush, my brother,

Doth the song win such applause?

Not at all! ‘Tis cakes and cider,

Offered in a noble cause.


For no lean and hungry witches

Ever can resist the sight

Of such nectar and ambrosia

To be had at dead of night.


Now the wizard hour approaches

See the ghosts, they ride in coaches –

How those mice-drawn pumpkins go!

From the barntops, spike-nosed witches

Straddle horses made of switches!

Black cats flitter to and fro!QuakerBridge_19280314


‘Tis a sight no heart can stomach,

Soon the watchers streak for home,

Quite content to leave the witches

Though they’s just begun to roam.


After all, the cakes ‘n’ cider

Had resolved to cakes in cider;

The pipes were smokes, the stories told,

And blankets now enfold the bold.

The Field Afar, October 1931, p.280

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