The Gallows Tree is a spooky poem about a young couple riding at night past a haunted tree.
There was no moon in west or east,
No stars shone down for eyes to see;
The night a couple on their horse
Approached the dreaded gallows-tree.
“Make haste! Make haste!” the young wife cried,
“For something seems to follow me!”
“Don’t fear, my love,” the man replied,
We’re almost past the gallows-tree!”
He kissed her lips, then spurred the horse
And fast they fled across the lea.
But in the dark the husband spied,
A figure by the gallows-tree!
“Give me your cloak,” the girl pleaded,
“A bitter chill’s come over me.
The wind blows cold, my heart beats fast.
I’m frightened of the gallows-tree!”
“O holy God! My dearest wife,
Quick, say some prayers, fast as can be!
I felt a hand around my neck,
Trying to tear my cloak from me!”
“Give me what’s yours, it shall be mine,
Try as you might you cannot flee!
They murdered me and now I’m cursed,
To haunt this wretched gallows-tree!”
“Upon my life, my sweet husband!
Have you no prayer to set us free?
It’s got me in its deathly grasp,
I feel its fingers clutch my knee!”
“Give me your bride, your pretty bride,
I’ve got her now, she won’t get free!
I want this girl, so young and warm,
To hang with me from this dead tree!”
“Cling tight, my love, and trust in God!
But I feel you slowly slip from me!”
And with a scream, one man alone
Returned that night from the gallows-tree.