Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Sunday, October 30, 2022


 (You may recognize the origin of a well-known childhood rhyme in the following poem; t help yuut, I've marked that part in red.)

Alonzo the Brave, and Fair Imogine:

A Warrior so bold, and a Virgin so bright

Conversed, as They sat on the Green:

They gazed at each other with tender delight;

Alnz the Brave was the name of the Knight,

And the maid's was the Fair Imogine.

'And Oh!' said the Youth, 'since tomorrow I go

To fight in a far distant land,

Your tears for my absence soon leaving to flow,

Some other will court you, and you will bestow

On a wealthier Suitor your hand.'

'Oh! hush these suspicions,' Fair Imogine said,

'Offensive to love and to me!

For if ye be living, or if ye be dead,

I swear by the Virgin, that none in your stead

Shall husband of Imogine be.

'If e'er by lust or by wealth led aside

Frget my Alonzo the Brave,

God grant, that to punish my falsehod and pride

Your Ghost at the Marriage may sit by my side,

May tax me with perjury, claim me as Bride,

And bear me away to the Grave!'

To Palestine hastened our hero so bold;

His Love, She lamented him sore:

But scarce had a twelve-month elapsed, when behold,

A Baron all covered in jewels and gold

Arrived at Fair Imgine's door.

His treasure, his presents, his spacious domain

Soon made her untrue to her vows;

He dazzled her eyes; he bewildered her brain;

He caught her affections so light and so vain,

And carried her home as his Spouse.

And now had the marriage been blest by the Priest;

The revelry now was begun;

The Tables, they groaned with the weight of the Feast;

Not yet had the laughter and merriment ceased,

When the bell of the Castle told -- 'One!'

Then first with amazement Fair Imogine found

That a stranger was placed by her side:  His air was terrific;

He uttered no sound;  He spoke not.  He moved not.

He looked not around.

But earnestly gazed on the Bride.

His vizor was closed, and gigantic his height;

His armour was sable to view:

All pleasure and laughter were hushed at his sight;

The Dogs as They eyed him drew back in affright,

The light in the chamber burned blue!

His presence all bosoms appeared to dismay;

The Guests sat in silence and fear.

At length spoke the Bride, while She trembled;

'I pray, Sir Knight, that your Helmet aside you would lay,

And deign to partake of our chear.'

The Lady is silent:  the Stranger complies.

His vizor lie slowly unclothed:

Oh!  God!  What a sight met Fair Imogine's eyes!

What words can express her dismay and surprize,

When a skeleton's head was exposed!

All present then uttered a terrified shout;

All turned with disgust from the scene.

The worms, They crept in, and the worms, They crept out,

And sported his eyes and his temples about.

While the Spectre addressed Imogine.

'Behold me, Thou false one!  Behold me!' He cried;

'Remember Alonzo the Brave!

God grants, that to punish thy falsehood and pride

My ghost at thy marriage shall sit by thy side,

Should tax thee with perjury, claim thee as Bride

And bear thee away to the Grave!'

Thus saying, his arms round the Lady He wound,

While loudly She shreiked in dismay;

Then sank with his prey through the wide-yawning ground:

Nor ever again was Fair Imgine found, 

Or the Spectre who bore her away.

Not long lived the Baron; and none since that time

To inhabit the Castle presume:

For Chronicles tell, that by order sublime

There Imogine suffers the pain of her crime,

And mourns her deplorable doom.

At midnight four times in each year does her Spright

When Mortals in slumber are bound,

Arrayed in her bridal apparel of white,

Appear in the Hall with the Skeleton-Knight,

And shriek, as He whirls her around.

While They drink out of skulls newly torn from the grave,

Dancing round them the Spectres are seen:

Their liquor is blood, and this horrible Stave

They howl -- 'To the health of Alonzo the Brave,

And his Consort, the False Imogine!'

-- M. G. Lewis, from his novel The Monk:  A Romance, 1796


  1. Not exactly how we said it but I can't remember what was different. I wonder what the most popular costume will be this year. I always admire those who wear the traditional ones rather than Star Wars or other current movies/series.

    1. Patti, my costume this year is "The Most Handsome Man on Earth." That way I don't have to do a thing!