The Gravedigger

The Gravedigger

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

I was leaning on my shovel, in a hole

As black as pitch,

With a plug of fine tobacco in my pipe

To scratch my itch,

But I hadn't even lit it when

I heard the voices clear,

'You'll be married on the morrow,

We'll be rich within the year!'


I sat down and there I rested at the

Bottom of the grave

I'd been digging for a friend of mine,

Whose life I'd tried to save,

I could see the figures dimly, talking,

Plotting in the dark,

Then they kissed, and he went one way

While she tripped across the park.


It was not that they were strangers;

Her I knew as Anne Morrell,

And she cut a pretty figure with

Her bustle and her veil,

While the man was Terence Morgan,

He was just a local lout,

But he had a way with women, 'til

They found the beggar out!


So I clambered out the hole, and made

My way into the church,

And I looked for where the banns were posted,

There, inside the porch,

I saw that Ann Morrell was set

To marry Graham Pugh...

The local Ironmonger who

Was known as 'well-to-do.'


He was more than well-to-do, I thought,

He owned a string of shops,

And he sent goods to the colonies,

In fair exchange for crops,

His house was like a mansion in

Our tiny little town,

Where it sat up on the hill, where he

Could stand, and look on down.


So his bride-to-be was plotting, she was

Marrying for greed,

She had worked on Graham Pugh,

Worked on his loneliness and need,

He was in his middle forties,

Hadn't strayed across the line,

In amassing all his wealth, he said,

He'd never had the time.


So I thought I'd better warn him that

They'd sworn to take his life,

That they'd sealed  it with a kiss, the

Local blackguard, and his wife,

That I'd heard them both conspire about

The wealth they thought he had,

If he married her tomorrow, knowing this,

He must be mad!


So I walked on up the hill, and strode

Right through his fancy gates,

Up the drive that went forever,

Past the poplars in my haste,

And I beat upon the knocker, thinking

He'd invite me in,

But he kept me standing on the step;

'Your story's rather thin!'


I'm quite ashamed of what I did, but this

Was life or death,

I stayed awake all night that night,

Could scarcely catch my breath,

So many things to do and plan,

The morning came at last,

The wedding party turned up late,

They all wore party masks.


I'll have to dig that grave again, I

Somehow filled it in,

And Terence Morgan quit the town,

He's not been seen since then,

While Graham Pugh woke up, I think

En route to Aberdeen,

Quite safe from plotting women, and

Unmarried, it would seem.


While down the aisle the bride had swept

In ribbons, veil and lace,

The veil so thick, she couldn't see

Her hand before her face,

I wore my collar high that day,

Top hat and tails, you see,

And when I turned to kiss the bride...

She found she'd married me!


David Lewis Paget

© 2012 David Lewis Paget

My Review

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lol, this was enjoyable and funny a nice display at the end.

Posted 10 Years Ago

A great story poem here, thoroughly enjoyable read, and a chrtle at the end. Nice work indeed :)

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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3 Reviews
Added on June 17, 2010
Last Updated on June 28, 2012
Tags: shovel, grave, plot, marriage


David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia