Wednesday, 9 November 2016


SCROOGE and MARLEY (Deceased)
A POEM by Paul Curtis
Charles Dickens “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”



He woke in the midst of a prodigiously tough snore
And sat up to get his thoughts together once more
Scrooge had no occasion at all to be told by anyone
That the church bell was again upon the stroke of one
He felt that he had awoken just at the right moment
To meet Jacob Marley's second visitor to represent
But turned uncomfortably cold as he became unsure
Which of his curtains this new specter would draw
So decided he would open every one himself instead
And lying down again could see out all round the bed
Despite his preparation the spirits arrival he still feared
But when the Bell struck One, no apparition appeared
He was taken with a fit of trembling wondering why
Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes went by
Yet nothing came and All this time, he lay on his bed
Then he saw under the adjoining door a glow of red
He got the idea that this glow must have appeared
At the time of the clock striking the hour occurred
He slid into his slippers and shuffled across the floor
And he reluctantly approached the adjoining door


The moment Scrooge's hand was on the door opener
A strange voice called his name, and bade him enter
He obeyed and soon found himself in his own room
There was no doubt though it lacked its normal gloom
It was the most surprising transformation he’d seen
The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green
That it looked a perfect grove full of nature’s livery
With bright gleaming berries glistening full and juicy
The crisp green leaves of the holly, mistletoe, and ivy
Reflected the light like mirrored stars small and shiny
And such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney
Not seen since well before the days of Jacob Marley
Heaped up on the floor, to form a huge kind of throne
Were turkeys, geese, game, poultry and meat on the bone
Sucking pigs, mince pies and long wreaths of sausages
Plum-puddings, chestnuts, apples, and juicy oranges
Pears, twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch
That made the room steam and smell of Christmas lunch
Upon the couch, there sat a jolly Giant glorious to see:
Who bore a glowing torch not unlike the horn of Plenty
He held it high to shed its light on Scrooge and more
As the little man came peeping round the chamber door
"Come in, and know me better, man." said the ghost
He entered timidly, and hung his head before his host
He was not the dogged Scrooge he had been of old
And though the Spirit's eyes were clear and not cold
He did not like to meet them though they were kindly
"I am the Ghost of Christmas Present Look upon me."
The huge ghost was clothed in one simple green mantle
And the robe was bordered with white fur also simple
This flowing garment hung so loosely on the figure
That its great capacious breast was almost totally bare
Beneath the ample folds of the green garments fur
Its feet were just observable and they were also bare
And on its head it wore no other covering than a wreath
Made of holly set with shining icicles above and beneath
It had a genial face and long free dark brown curly hair
Its sparkling eyes and general demeanor had a joyful air
It wore an antique scabbard around it coated in dust
But no sword and the sheath was eaten up with rust
Scrooge reverently stood with his back to the door
It said, "You have never seen the like of me before!"
"Never," Scrooge made answer to it quite nervously
"Have you never walked forth with any of my family
Either younger brothers or any of my elder brethren
Born in these later years?" it persisted about its kin
"I don't think I have I’m afraid not” he answered it
Then asked, “Have you had many brothers, Spirit?"
"More than eighteen hundred," said the apparition
"A large family for whom to have to make provision"
He muttered as The Ghost of Christmas Present rose.
"Spirit," said Scrooge submissively and almost froze
"Conduct me wherever you will oh ghostly apparition”
He continued “I went forth last night on compulsion
And I learnt a great lesson, which is working now spirit
To-night, what you have to teach me, let me profit by it."
"Touch my robe." The green giant soberly instructed
Scrooge did so, and held fast and was thus transported


Holly, mistletoe, red berries, ivy, game and poultry,
Meat, puddings and punch, had all vanished instantly
And the room, fire, night hour and the ruddy glowing
And they stood in city streets on Christmas morning
It was cold, bleak, biting weather with freezing fog
And the streets were enveloped in thick Grey smog
The throng of people could be heard in the street
Stamping hard on the pavements to warm their feet
The house fronts were black and the windows more so
Contrasting with the smooth and white sheet of snow
In the road the snow was dirtier and left in deep furrow
By carts and beneath snow and ice the mud was yellow
There was nothing very cheerful to see in this place
And yet there was an air of cheerfulness you could trace
The people who shoveled away snow were full of glee
Throwing snowball their joviality was plain to see
Poulterers, fruiterers and grocers were still just open
To accommodate last minute ladies and gentlemen
The myriad of jolly shopkeepers acted out their charade
Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the last minute trade
Soon the bells called good people to church and chapel
And away they flocked through streets to answer the bell
And at the same time scores of peoples began emerging
From scores of bye-streets, lanes and nameless turning
And the innumerable people all talking ten to the dozen
Were carrying their dinners to cook in the bakers' oven
The sight of these poor revelers interested the Spirit
For outside the bakers he stopped and stood beside it
And taking off the covers as their bearers passed by
Sprinkled incense on the dinners from his torch up high
It was a very uncommon kind of torch, for once or twice
When the behavior of dinner-carriers was not very nice
He shed drops of water on them from his horn of plenty
And their good humor was once again restored directly
They said, it was a shame to quarrel on Christmas Day
Scrooge was curious to know what changed their way
In time the bells ceased, and the bakers were closed
And the late churchgoers stride out smartly clothed
Scrooge got up courage to enquire of his companion
"Is there a peculiar flavor,” he asked of the apparition
“In what you sprinkle from your torch like cone?"
The ghost looked at Scrooge "Yes there is. My own."
"Would it apply to any kind of dinner on this day?"
"To any kindly given. To a poor one most. I would say"
"Why to a poor one most?" asked Scrooge enquiringly.
"Because it needs it most." The spirit answered curtly
"Spirit," after a moment's thought Scrooge spoke thus,
"I wonder you, of all the beings in the worlds about us
Should desire to stop these people's innocent enjoyment."
"I!" cried the spirit incredulously “I desire to prevent?”
"You deprive them of their means of dining every Sunday
The spirit cried "I!" and scrooge said, “Yes I would say?"
"You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day,"
Said Scrooge. "And it comes to the same thing in a way"
"I seek!" exclaimed the Spirit “If I am wrong forgive me
It’s done if not in your name, then in that of your family,"
"There are some upon this earth " returned the apparition
"Who claim to know us, and do their deeds of passion,
Pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, and bigotry in our name,
Who are strange to us and our kith and kin all the same
Remember, and put the blame on themselves, not us."
Scrooge promised and apologized for all the fuss
And they went on, invisible, as they had been before
Into the suburbs of the town and stopped beside a door


They stood in Camden Town outside a poor mans door
It was the home of Bob Cratchit’s they stood before
The spirit indicated to Scrooge that they would enter
Scrooge held the spirits robe with boney hand and finger
The Spirit stopped on the threshold of the door smiling
With a sprinkle from his torch he blessed Bob’s dwelling
Just think, a fifteen bob a week clerk of no consequence
Has the Ghost of Christmas Present bless his residence
Once inside the four roomed house in Camden Town
They saw Bob’s wife, dressed in a twice-turned gown
Though not dressed in the height of fashion, indeed poorly
Brave in ribbons, which for sixpence decorate cheaply
And she laid the tablecloth, assisted ably by Belinda
Also brave in ribbons who was her second daughter
While Master Peter Cratchit plunged a fork into a pot
In search of a potato to see if it was cooked or not
And now two smaller Cratchit’s, boy and girl, tore in
“We smelt the goose at the bakers” they were screaming
Soon all the young Cratchit’s danced about the table
All squealing in excitement with a hop and gambol
This went on until the slow potatoes began bubbling
Knocking loudly at the saucepan-lid noisily cooking
"Wherever has your father got too what’s keeping him?"
Said Mrs. Cratchit "And your dear brother, Tiny Tim”
And Martha wasn't as late as this last Christmas Day"
"Here's Martha, mother," said a girl unbarring her way
The two young Cratchit’s cried, “Mother here's Martha!”
"Why, bless your heart alive, my dear, how late you are!"
Kissing her daughter a dozen times, Mrs. Cratchit said
While taking off her shawl and the bonnet off her head
"We'd a deal of work to finish up last night," said Martha
"And we had to clear it away this morning, mother"
Mrs. Cratchit said "Never mind so long as you are here ".
"Sit down before the fire and have a warm, my dear”
"Father’s coming," the two young Cratchit’s loudly cried
They were everywhere at once. "Hide, Martha, hide!"
So Martha hid herself, and in came Bob, the father,
In his comforter and with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder
He set down the boy who used a crutch tiny as his name
And had too have his limbs supported by an iron frame
"Why, where's our Martha?" cried Bob looking round
"Not coming," said Mrs. Cratchit staring at the ground
"Not coming!" said Bob, “Not coming” his wife said
"Not coming on Christmas Day?" he hung his head
Martha didn't like to see the disappointed on his face
Even in a joke so she came out from her hiding place
And she ran into her fathers arms and embraced him
While the two young Cratchits carried young Tiny Tim
Off into the washhouse that he might hear the pudding
As it boils violently in the copper there loudly singing
When Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart's content
Then hugged his wife whom he neglected in his merriment
"And how did little Tim behave?" asked Mrs. Cratchit
Watched only by Ebeneezer Scrooge and the spirit
"As good as gold," said Bob, "And better my dear
He gets thoughtful so much by himself sitting here
And thinks the strangest things you’ve heard honestly
When we were coming home he said to me earnestly
That he hoped that the people in the church saw him
As he was a cripple, as it may be pleasant for them
To remember on this Christmas Day, he told me
Who it was made the lame walk, and blind men see."
Bob's voice trembled when he told this news to her
And more so as he said Tiny Tim grew much stronger
His active little crutch was heard noisily upon the floor
And Tiny Tim appeared through the wash house door
He was led to his fireside stool by his brother and sister
Bob put a jug of gin and lemons on the hob to simmer
Peter and the young Cratchit's went to fetch the goose
Returning from the bakers with it spitting in its juice
Such a bustle ensued at the returning goose procession
That you may have thought a goose the rarest acquisition
Mrs. Cratchit made gravy hissing hot and full of flavor
Master Peter mashed potatoes with incredible vigor
Belinda made the apple-sauce Martha dusted plates
Bob took Tiny Tim beside him at the table and waits
The two young Cratchit’s set the chairs for everyone
At last dishes were set, and grace was said and done
It was succeeded by a breathless pause, as Mrs. Cratchit,
Looking at the carving-knife, prepared to plunge it
In the breast of the modest goose, but when she did
The gush of stuffing issued from where it had been hid
One murmur of delight arose all round the family table
One and all beat on the table with the their knife handle
And all cried Hurrah! As the festivities were let loose
Bob said in all sincerity “There never was such a goose”
Indeed Its tenderness and flavor, size and cheapness
Were the themes of universal admiration and happiness
Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes all agreed
It was a sufficient dinner for the whole family; indeed
Mrs. Cratchit said surveying a scrap with great delight
That they hadn't eaten everything to the very last bite
Yet every one had had enough which plainly satisfies
And all were stuffed with sage and onion to the eyes
The dirty plates were cleared away by Miss Martha
And then the clean plates being laid by Miss Belinda
Mrs. Cratchit left the room alone to fetch the pudding
From the wash house and bring it to the table steaming
Suppose it should not be done enough? Well it ought
Suppose it should be done too much? No She thought
Suppose it should break in turning out? Oh damn it
Suppose somebody should have got in and stolen it
All was merry with the goose and gave satisfaction
But all sorts of horrors plagued her in her supposition
The pudding was out of the copper and steaming
In half a minute she returned flushed, but smiling
With the pudding looking like a speckled cannon-ball
Hard and firm, blazing in brandy and holly atop it all
Oh, a wonderful pudding! Bob said, and calmly too
Though it was the greatest success ever in his view
Mrs. Cratchit said it was a weight off her mind really
She confessed she had doubts about the flour quantity
Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody
Said or thought it was a small pudding for a large family
At last the dinner was all done, the cloth was cleared
The hearth swept, and the fire made up until it roared
The gin and lemons were tasted and passed acceptable
And a plate of apples and oranges were put on the table
Then a shovel-full of chestnuts were then put on the fire
And all the family drew around the hearth like a choir
At Bob’s elbow stood the family set of glass on display
Plus Two tumblers and a cup with handle broke away
These held the gin and lemons from the jug, however
A set of golden goblets could not have done better
Bob served out the hot punch while beaming happily
As the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily
Then Bob Cratchit reverently proposed a toast thus
"A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us."
Which the family re-echoed "God bless us every one!"
Said Tiny Tim, the last to say when the others had done.
He sat close to his father's side upon his little chair
Holding his withered hand he gave the hand a stare
Loving his son and wishing to keep him by his side
His dread that he might loose him he could not hide

“Spirit,” said Scrooge with previously unfelt interest
"Tell me if Tiny Tim will live." He asked in earnest
"I see a vacant seat," replied the Ghost, "In the corner
And a crutch carefully preserved without an owner
The child will die if these shadows remain unaltered”
"No," said Scrooge. "Kind Spirit. Say he will be spared."
"If these shadows do remain unaltered by the Future,
The ghost said, “None other of my race will find him here”
“What then? If he be like to die” continued the apparition
“He had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
Scrooge hung his head low in penitence and disbelief
To hear his own words and was overcome with grief
“You should hold your tongue and not speak wickedly
Until you discover what the surplus is, and where it be.”
Scrooge cowered and could not meet the spirit’s eye
“And Will you decide who shall live and who shall die?
It may be, you are more worthless in the sight of Heaven
And less fit to live than millions of poor men's children”
Scrooge bent low before the Ghost's rebuke trembling
But raised his eyes speedily on hearing Bob speaking

"Mr. Scrooge!" said Bob addressing them like a priest
"I'll give you Mr. Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast!"
"The Founder of the Feast indeed! I wish I had him here
I'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, my dear
And I hope he would have a very good appetite for it."
Finished the volatile and reddening Mrs. Cratchit
"My dear," said Bob, "The children. Christmas Day."
"It should be Christmas Day, I am sure I would say,
On which one drinks the health of such an odiously
Unfeeling man as Mr. Scrooge so cruel hard and stingy
Nobody knows better than you about Scrooges way"
"My dear," was Bob's mild answer, "Christmas Day."
"I'll drink his health for your sake and the Day's,"
Said Mrs. Cratchit, "Not for him and his miserable ways
Long life A merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
He’ll be very merry and very happy, I’m quite sure”
The children drank the toast after her long address
It was the first of their rituals having no heartiness
Tiny Tim drank last of all, but didn't care much for it
Scrooge was the ogre of the whole family of Cratchit
Mention of his name cast a dark shadow on the party
Lasting full five minutes until they were again hearty
After it had passed away, they were ten times merrier
With thought of Scrooge behind them they were happier
Bob Cratchit told them how he had in his eye a situation
For Master Peter, which would bring in, as contribution
If obtained, full five-and-sixpence weekly for their son
Which that sums receipt would be a bewildering income
The rest of the time passed by in family conversation
While chestnuts and jug went round without cessation
Martha, who was an apprentice at a millinery locally
Told them what kind of work had kept her so busy
And by-and-bye there were songs sung quite by choice
Even Tiny Tim, who had a very plaintive little voice
They were not remarkable they were quite ordinary
They were not a handsome or a well-dressed family
Their shoes were far from being proof against weather
Scanty clothed and were not strangers to the pawnbroker
But, were happy, grateful, pleased with one another
And contented with their lot and their time together
They left the Cratchit family in their happy reveling
The spirit gave a sprinkle from his torch in parting
And Ebeneezer Scrooge had kept his eye upon them
Until the very last moment and especially on Tiny Tim


By this time it was getting dark, and snowing heavily
And as they went along the spirit used his torch merrily
Brightness spilled from each kitchen or parlor window
Doors open to welcome visitors to the fireside glow
Every person they passed received a liberal sprinkling
Of the spirits torch his eyes were constantly twinkling
Even the lamplighter received a blessing that night
As he ran the dusky streets dotting them with light
And so it was the spirit blessed all who came before
Then suddenly they stood on a bleak deserted moor

Monstrous masses of rude stone were cast randomly
A course barren place where the wind moaned eerily
"What place is this?" asked Scrooge uneasy at the sound
"A place where Miners live, who labor under ground"
Returned the Spirit. "But they know me. Look and see."
A light shone out from the window of a hut distantly
Swiftly they moved to it as the wind continued to moan
And they passed through the wall of mud and stone
Inside the dwelling they found a cheerful company
Made up of several generations of the same family
They were all happily assembled round a glowing fire
And everyone was decked out gaily in holiday attire
The oldest man led them in the Christmas singing
As loud and hearty at the end as in the beginning
Then they passed through the mud wall once more
To once again stand upon the grim desolate moor
The Spirit and Scrooge did not however tarry here
They sped away with Scrooge tried to hide his fear

To Scrooge's horror they flew off across the dark sea
Looking back, he saw the last of the land fading quickly
Below were ragged rocks pounded by thundering waves
There treachery sending many men to watery graves
Built on this reef of sunken rock and out cropping
There stood a solitary lighthouse to warn all shipping
But even out here, the two men who watched the light
Had made a fire and were making merry on the holy night
Again the Ghost sped on, above the black heaving sea
On until far from shore they saw a ship blown fiercely

They lighted on the ship and stood beside the helmsman
Who fought with the wheel watched by a midshipman
But every man of them as against the wind they fought
Hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought
Or spoke to a companion of some bygone Christmas Day
And every man on board spoke in a much friendlier way
Then the ship suddenly faded away and the wind died
And laughter pervaded as they stood under a city sky


They stood outside a house were laughter emanated
Then he and the spirit into the house they permeated
It was a bright, gay, gleaming room that met their view
To his surprise the laughter came from his nephew
Scrooge stood with the Spirit who was smiling happily
Looking at Scrooge’s nephew with approving affability
"Ha, ha!" laughed Scrooge's nephew. "Ha, ha, ha!"
It would be hard to find a man to laugh heartier
If a man more blessed in a laugh than his nephew
Existed then Scrooge would want to know him too
His head rolled and he shook his ample proportions
And twisted his face into extravagant contortions
Scrooge's niece, by marriage, laughed as heartily as he
And their assembled friends also roared out lustily
"Ha, ha, ha, ha!" "He said that,” cried his nephew
“Christmas was a humbug, as I live! He believed it too."
"More shame for him, Fred." said his wife indignantly
Scrooge forgave her, as she was exceedingly pretty
With a dimpled peaches and cream complexion
And a smile that gave her the sunniest disposition
"He's a comical old fellow," said Fred affectionately
"That’s the truth: and not so pleasant as he might be.
However, his offenses carry their own punishment,
And I have nothing to say against him in testament"
Then his wife said "I'm sure he is very rich, Fred,"
"At least you always tell me that is so." She hinted
Fred said to her in reply "What of that, my dear?"
"His wealth is of absolutely no use to him at all I fear”
Fred continued “He doesn't do any good with it.
And he doesn't make himself comfortable with it.
He hasn't even the satisfaction of thinking so far
That he is ever going to benefit us with it" ha, ha, ha!
"I have no patience with him," Scrooges niece said
Her sisters, and the ladies, expressed the same to Fred
"Oh, I have” Fred said to everyone with some pride
I’m sorry for him I couldn't be angry with him if I tried
After all who is it who really suffers by his ill whim?”
Answering his own question Fred said “Always him”
Here, uncle Scrooge takes it into his head to dislike us,
And he won't come and dine with us every Christmas.
And the result? He misses out on a moderate dinner"
Fred said to the room smiling broadly like a sinner
"I think he loses out on a very good dinner, indeed"
Interrupted his wife and everyone in the room agreed
"Well. I'm very glad to hear it," he said of his slurs
"Because I lack faith in these young housekeepers”
Pausing for a hearty laugh “What do you say, Topper?"
Topper clearly had his eye on the little plump sister
He answered what a wretched outcast was a bachelor
With no right to an opinion on the subject set before
His obvious admiration went from her hair to her boots
Where upon the plump niece blushed to her roots
"Do go on, Fred," his wife said with hands clapping
Scrooge's nephew reveled in another fit of laughing
He stifled the laugh and said, "I was only going to say
That the consequence of his taking dislike to us this way
And not making merry with us, is, that he loses many
Pleasant moments, which could do him no harm surely.
Losing pleasanter companions than he can find ever
In his thoughts, either in his office or his chamber
So I mean to give him the same chance every year,
Whether he likes it or not, for I pity my uncle dear.
He may rail at Christmas all he likes until he dies
But year after year I will continue until he complies”
The festivities continued with the happy company
Merriment abounded and the bottle passed joyously
After tea they had music with songs about the piano
Fred wife played well on the harp tunes from long ago
With the music Scrooge recalled what he had seen
What the Ghost had shown him and where he’d been
It all came upon his mind all what had gone before
And with the gay music he softened more and more
But they didn't devote the whole evening to music
Topper was encouraged to perform a magic trick
Then they played parlor games for amusement
First blind mans bluff caused such great merriment
With topper clearly cheating as pursued high and low
The plump sister catching her beneath the mistletoe
Blind-man’s buff was not the game for Scrooges niece
Who was comfortably in a corner safe and in peace
With footstool and large comfy chair in a snug corner
Where the Ghost and Scrooge were close behind her
But she however excelled when she joined in forfeits
And warmed Scrooges heart and raised his spirits
She beat them all hollow from her large comfy chair
And likewise at the game of How, When, and Where
There might have been twenty people there present
Young and old, but they all joined in the merriment
Even Scrooge, who forgot he wasn’t there at the party
And shouted the answers ever more loud and hearty
But despite Scrooge quite often getting the answers
Often very loudly his voice made no sound in their ears
This didn’t bother him and he didn’t think it to be rude
The Ghost was very pleased to find him in this mood
Scrooge intimated that he would be broken hearted
If he were not allowed to stay until the guests departed
But this the Spirit told Scrooge could not be done
"One more game," said Scrooge. "Please Spirit, only one."
So they stayed for one more Game called Yes and No
And when the game was over it was time for them to go
Before Scrooges eyes the room before him unravels
And he and the Spirit were again upon their travels.


Much they saw, and far they went, people to attend
Many homes they visited, but always a happy end
The Spirit stood by sick beds, and they were cheerful
Comforting the old and frail and those who were fearful
On foreign lands, and at home; beside struggling men,
Those patient in their hope; by poverty, and rich again
In almshouse, hospital, workhouse treadmill and jail
In misery's every refuge where people try and fail
Where vain man in his little brief authority no doubt
Had not made fast the door and barred the Spirit out
He left his blessing, and taught Scrooge his precepts.
And not lost on Scrooge were the spirits concepts
It was a long night, if only a night which he doubted
Scrooge had now seen his error and his heart shouted
It was strange, that while Scrooge appeared unaltered
The Ghost grew older, clearly and his voice faltered.
Scrooge had seen this change, but never spoke of it,
Until leaving a children's party he addressed the spirit
"Are spirits' lives so short?" he asked gravely his host
"My life on this globe, is very brief," replied the Ghost
"It ends to-night." It said and Scrooge replied "To-night!"
"My time upon this earth ends To-night at midnight
The time draws near." He said neath the clock tower
“Hark!” and the chimes rang a quarter to the hour
“Forgive me for asking” said Scrooge in puzzlement
He was looking intently at the spirits long garment
"But I see something strange down there on the floor
Protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?"
"It might be a claw, for all the flesh there is on it,"
Was its sorrowful reply. "Look here." Said the spirit
From the folds of its robe, it brought two creatures
Children, wretched, abject, with frightful features
They knelt down at its feet, and clung on in fear
"Oh, Man, look here! Look, look, down here!"
Exclaimed the Ghost. To Scrooge who was nervous
It was a boy and girl though it was not obvious
"Spirit, are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more.
"They are Man's," It said looking at them on the floor
"Appealing from their fathers they cling to me there
This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. So beware”
His voice was grave and solemn and held no joy
“Beware them both, but most of all beware this boy
For on his brow I see that the word doom is written
Unless the writing be erased beware these children”
The spirit cried stretching its hand toward the city
“If you deny it! Or slander those who tell it to ye.
Admit it for your factious purposes, or defend
And then make it worse. And you will abide the end."
"Have they no refuge or resource?" Scrooge cried.
"Are there no prisons?" ironically the Spirit replied,
"Are there no workhouses?" for the very last time
Using his own words on him at the midnight chime
At the stroke of the bell Scrooge looked all about
But the ghost was gone he was alone without doubt
As the last stroke ceased he lifted up his eyes to see
He suddenly remembered the prediction of Marley
And beheld a solemn draped and hooded apparition
Coming, like a mist along the ground, in his direction

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