The Ball

T’was on a night stormy and rough

That from home I had fled

To steal a sable chariot

And leave my lonely bed.


Through gale and sleet the stagecoach whipped,

And worry filled my heart,

For my family did not know

About my swift depart.


A rumble, then; a screaming snap!

And when I looked again,

There I stood in the marble hall

Whilst outside poured the rain.


The great gilded hall was empty,

Save for a man alone,

Who wore a dapper suit and tie

The colour of charred stone.


He offered his hand without words,

His young smile wide and white,

And nervously I accepted;

The world was mine to spite.


And so we danced and danced in time

To a forgotten beat;

The shadows pranced around our heads,

Ghouls matched our moving feet.


The chandeliers twinkled above,

Igniting phantom eyes;

The silence of the room was filled

With gleeful eldritch cries.


But I had forgotten the hour,

And when midnight did chime,

I ceased all revelry and said,

“I’ve quite run out of time.”


But the well-dressed man looked at me

And shook his perfect head.

“You shan’t ever run out of that

Now that I’m here,” he said.


“But my parents shall miss their child,

Their one, only daughter,

If I don’t venture back tonight

Through that mean rainwater.”


Said the man, “Oh! I thought you knew,

Your carriage took a spill.

It jostled you around inside;

A grave you will soon fill.”


Just as dread turned my blood to ice,

And I fell into trance,

Death gave me a smile and his hand

And asked, “Miss, shall we dance?”


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