Posts tagged ‘lie still my newly married wife’

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

The Griesly Wife by John Streeter Manifold

“Lie still, my newly married wife,
Lie easy as you can.
You’re young and ill accustomed yet
To sleeping with a man.”

The snow lay thick, the moon was full
And shone across the floor.
And the young wife went with ne’er a word
Barefooted to the door.

He up and followed sure and fast,
The moon shone clear and white.
But before his coat was on his back
His wife was out of sight.

He trod the trail where’er it turned
By many a mound and scree,
And still the barefoot track led on,
And an angry man was he.

He followed fast, he followed slow,
And still he called her name,
But only the wild dogs out in the hills
Yowled back at him again.

His hair stood up along his neck,
His angry mind was gone,
For the track of the two bare feet gave out
And a four-foot track went on.

Her nightgown lay upon the snow
As it might upon the sheet,
But the track that led from where it lay
Was ne’er of human feet.

His heart turned over in his chest,
He looked from side to side,
And he thought more of his blazing fire,
Than he did of his griesly bride.

And first he started walking back
And then began to run,
And his quarry wheeled at the end of her track
And hunted him in turn.

Oh, long the fire may burn for him
And open stand the door,
And long may the bed wait empty:
For he’ll never see it more.

From: http://www.thehypertexts.com/Halloween%20Poetry.htm

Date: 1941

By: John Streeter Manifold (1915-1985)