The Bones of Arbour Low

The Bones of Arbour Low

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

The mansion known as Arbour Low

Came to me in a will,

From someone called Great Uncle George,

I’d never met him, still,

I’d heard he was so miserly

He’d thrown his sister out,

And beaten his poor wife, I heard,

He truly was a lout.

He lived alone in that great house

Long after Rachel died,

Would never admit visitors

But hid himself inside,

He had one friend, a single friend

Who always stuck by him,

But disappeared one August night

Was never seen again.

The house was dark and gloomy, lit

By candles in each room,

It didn’t have electric power

To lighten up the gloom,

The rooms were full of cobwebs, and

Thick dust was everywhere,

And every room smelt foetid,

It was hard to breathe in there.

I cleaned it up as best I could,

Used only rooms below,

I didn’t venture up the stairs,

I didn’t want to go.

It seemed so dark, foreboding that

The thing I felt was fright,

When staring up that darkness pit,

The stairway, every night.

I wondered about George’s friend,

The one who’d disappeared,

Could he have died in this old house?

That was the thing I feared,

They said he’d come to visit George

This one and only friend,

But once that door slammed shut on him

He wasn’t seen again.

The house was old, and worn, and sad,

At night the stairs would creak,

I lay below stretched on a couch

But often couldn’t sleep,

A friend of mine who read the cards

Brought round her crystal ball,

And said to hold a seance there

One night there, in the Fall.

‘If there are secrets in this house,

The crystal finds them out,

That man who disappeared, his name

Was Hugo Where, no doubt.’

She laughed and joked, and read the cards,

Stared at the crystal ball,

And called his name right up the stairs,

It echoed off the wall.

At midnight she had done her best

And said, ‘I’m giving in,

The shadows in the crystal ball

Foretell of some deep sin.’

Then in the darkness came a sound,

That saw us both undone,

For stumbling down the stairway came

A rattling skeleton.

David Lewis Paget

© 2019 David Lewis Paget

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Added on January 6, 2019
Last Updated on January 6, 2019


David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia