My horse had been lamed in the foot
In the rocks at the back of the run,
So I camped at the Murderer’s Hut,
At the place where the murder was done.
The walls were all spattered with gore,
A terrible symbol of guilt;
And the bloodstains were fresh on the floor
Where the blood of the victim was spilt.
The wind hurried past with a shout,
The thunderstorm doubled its din
As I shrank from the danger without,
And recoiled from the horror within.
When lo! at the window a shape,
A creature of infinite dread;
A thing with the face of an ape,
And with eyes like the eyes of the dead.
With the horns of a fiend, and a skin
That was hairy as satyr or elf,
And a long, pointed beard on its chin —
My God! ’twas the Devil himself.
In anguish I sank on the floor,
With terror my features were stiff,
Till the thing gave a kind of a roar,
Ending up with a resonant “Biff!”
Then a cheer burst aloud from my throat,
For the thing that my spirit did vex
Was naught but an elderly goat —
Just a goat of the masculine sex.
When his master was killed he had fled,
And now, by the dingoes bereft,
The nannies were all of them dead,
And only the billy was left.
So we had him brought in on a stage
To the house where, in style, he can strut,
And he lives to a fragrant old age
As the Ghost of the Murderer’s Hut.