Treasure Island

Emmanuel George Cefai

(12th March 1955 / Victoria, Gozo)

Tale Of The Lamenting Ghost

Tale of the Lamenting Ghost
[A Ghost's Lament]
[Struck by Tuberculosis]


Dusk had now risen
In its glory
Not like cocks it crowed
But silence spread
amidst the town and field
amidst the human animal and plant


O red color that from
the orange of the sunset goes
and as the day fades in its throes
winds round the Earth and throws
its twilight on the waters stunned
from the day's and Earth's events:
and the wounds:
O red color of dusk twilight of waters!


Till then round old Valletta
circling the woods
around caught its eye
and then it settled on those sites
that as the night approached
more and more devoid of humans


already Night was on his car
though Dusk still reigned:
and on his car
Night already lighted had
one star
the cunning sovereign
continued lighting star by star


Till all the immense heavens
shone; Dusk saw; turned pale;
with quick step down
towards the seas and Oceans
trod his way
to safety and rest and
out of the fading day.


thus settled Night new king
new Sovran but of a fading
day by half
and of the other half of day
the first Sovran and yet
in the dark part
when humans to subconscious betake
and conscious leave


the new king Night till mid-night
ruled as a new king
then as the mid-night deepened in
his reign more colored yet more
lax became more tottering
with every hour
till at sight of Dawn
Night with haggard hair of white
replaced the youth that
hours before ascended heaven's throne
to watch our Earth:
and fled before the Dawn.


till in a wood of old Valletta old
an ancient spirit roamed desolate
desolate in flesh
desolate as skeleton
what more destitution be made?
he lamented low though quite polite
and his sad notes like arrows
entered and broke the very heart of night


of how an early end tuberculosis
brought him to:
when in the height of youth
the first joys of life in cumulus
had brought him to life's first pinnacle
and last:
yet humans this enjoy albeit decline
yet this lone spirit faded before he
made offspring of which full lament
he made under the stars and to the moon.


all heard; all pitied; yet still
the spirit tormented restless plained
and ran around with vacant eyes and
red amidst the bending trees and sad.
Still sate the owl, and the nightingales
few that were chanting stopped and
heard and pitied in their heart the tale.


till by the Dawn as spirits will to do
so oft this spirit unfortunate
he too dissolved as a frail flake of snow
at touch and attack of a fervent sun:
so ends the tale, my Monsignor.

Submitted: Sunday, March 23, 2014
Edited: Monday, March 24, 2014

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Topic(s): Ghost

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