Hallowe’en

by Joel Benton (1896)

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite
All are on their rounds to-night,
In the wan moon’s silver ray
Thrives their helter-skelter play.

Fond of cellar, barn, or stack
True unto the almanac,
They present to credulous eyes
Strange hobgoblin mysteries.

Cabbage-stumps straws wet with dew
Apple-skins, and chestnuts too,
And a mirror for some lass
Show what wonders come to pass.

Doors they move, and gates they hide
Mischiefs that on moonbeams ride
Are their deeds, and, by their spells,
Love records its oracles.

Don’t we all, of long ago
By the ruddy fireplace glow,
In the kitchen and the hall,
Those queer, coof-like pranks recall

Eery shadows were they then
But to-night they come again;
Were we once more but sixteen
Precious would be Hallowe’en.