|The King-Ghost is abroad. His spectre legions
|Sweep from their icy lakes and bleak ravines
|Unto these weary and untrodden regions
|Where man lies penned among his Might-have-beens.
|Keep us in safety, Lord,
|What time the King-Ghost is abroad!
|The King-Ghost from his grey malefic slumbers
|Awakes the malice of his bloodless brain.
|He marshals the innumerable numbers
|Of shrieking shapes on the sepulchral plain.
|Keep us, for Jesus sake,
|What time the King-Ghost is awake!
|The King-Ghost wears a crown of hopes forgotten:
|Dead loves are woven in his ghastly robe;
|Bewildered wills and faiths grown old and rotten
|And deeds undared his sceptre, sword and globe.
|Keep us, O Mary maid,
|What time the King-Ghost goes arrayed!
|The Hell-Wind whistles through his plumeless pinions;
|Clanks all that melancholy host of bones;
|Fates principalities and Deaths dominions
|Echo the drear discord, the tuneless tones.
|Keep us, dear God, from ill,
|What time the Hell-Wind whistles shrill.
|The King-Ghost hath no music but their rattling;
|No scent but deaths grown faint and fugitive;
|No fight but this their leprous pallor battling
|Weakly with night. Lord, shall these dry bones live?
|O keep us in the hour
|Wherein the King-Ghost hath his power!
|The King-Ghost girds me with his gibbering creatures,
|My dreams of old that never saw the sun.
|He shows me, in a mocking glass, their features,
|The twin fiends Might-have-been and Should-have-done.
|Keep us, by Jesus ruth,
|What time the King-Ghost grins the truth!
|The King-Ghost boasts eternal usurpature;
|For in this pool of tears his fingers fret
|I had imagined, by enduring nature,
|The twin gods Thus-will-I and May-be-yet.
|God, keep us most from ill,
|What time the King-Ghost grips the will!
|Silver and rose and gold what flame resurges?
|What living light pours forth in emerald waves?
|What inmost Music drowns the clamorous dirges?
|Shrieking they fly, the King-Ghost and his slaves.
|Lord, let Thy Ghost indwell,
|And keep us from the power of Hell!