The Homely Ghost

Original Text: 
Marjory Nicholls, Collected Poems, comp. Niel Wright (Wellington: Original Books, 2009).
1I shall come back
2Very quietly, very softly,
3A little brown shadow.
4I shall not come
5When the moon is white like a bone,
6And the house-dogs howl.
7Nor on a dark night
8With uneasy winds,
9When the ivy scratches the window,
10And the paper stirs on the wall.
11I shall come back
12In the Autumn,
13In the early twilight.
14I shall wear a russet cloak
15And have a basket on my arm
16With red apples and brown nuts in it,
17And golden honey-comb.
18I shall watch the children playing
19And they will not be afraid.
20The old woman will just walk past and nod;
21Walk past, and into the beech-wood
22With its coppery leaves on the ground,
23And down by the pond, and the fields
25I shall pass the cottage-windows--
26Those with red curtains and glinting with firelight.
27I shall watch the blue smoke from the chimneys
28And think of the groups around the fire.
29Will any be thinking of me?
30I don't mind--I am just a little brown shadow, flitting past.
31Must I leave it?
32Cold and alone, must I go
33Through the wilds beyond Earth
34To the courts where the white angels stand
36Be certain, I shall come back.


24] rick: a stack of hay, corn or straw, often built into a regular shape in a field. Back to Line
35] August: respected and impressive. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Thirdly (1930).
RPO poem Editors: 
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition: