This nod to “Maryknoll Halloween” was found in the October 1931 issue of The Field Afar. It was tucked between columns about Rosary Month and the drilling of an artesian well on the Society’s property in New York. All fell under the section titled “Autumn Leaves from Home Knoll Diary.”
Enjoy this clever and amusing ode to Halloween on the Knoll.
When the shades of night have blotted
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.
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!
‘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.