I have heard a curious story, but I don’t believe it’s true
About the ghost of Bagbury and the things it used to do
So, draw your chair up closer and make a cheerful light
And I’ll tell you all about it as we’re sitting here tonight.

There once was a wicked squire, who lived at Bagbury Hall
So rich that half the country round his own he used to call
But so dreadfully fierce tempered, and so free with kicks and knocks
That people said he would not die, but change into an ox

As time passed on, their prophecies were partly verified
He certainly became an ox, although at first he died
And if we may believe the tales the country people told
There never was a ghost before so vicious or so bold

He used to haunt the roads by night with flaming eyes and horns
And drive poor travelers in brooks or over stones and thorns
He’d shake the cottage walls and roofs from night til morning clear
Til people trembled in their beds and could not sleep for fear

Or else he’d enter quietly when all were fast asleep
and fling the plates and dishes down in one great broken heap
The things the housewives valued most or oftenest did require
They’d find them broken on the ground or burning in the fire

Such things as these could not be born in country or in town
And so they begged the parson’s help to come and read him down
“Oh yes,” the good man said, “you will bring him to the church,
I’ll read him down into a shoe and lay him in the porch”

I do not know what means they used, the creature to ensnare,
But it’s a fact they went to church and somehow got him there
And then the parson read and read til night began to fall
And then the ghost, to their delight, looked very weak and small

But can’t you fancy their alarm, when all the lights burned out
They had no more, the reader stopped, he could not see without
Straightaway the ghost began to grow til it was plain
He’d soon be larger than before and all their labor vain

It must have grieved them as the form increased before their eyes
Until the very walls were cracked with his enormous size
When oh there passed a traveler, his lantern in his hand
They were not long before they all gave him to understand

He brought his light, the parson read, the ghost shrank all away
til they could squeeze him in the shoe and there he lies this day.