Listen on YouTube
It was a dark and stormy night-- or so the Heralds say--
The lightning striking constantly transformed the night to day,
The thunder roared the castle 'round-- or thusly runs the tale--
And, rising from the northeast tower there came a fearful wail.
It was no beast nor banshee, that, the castle folk knew well,
No prisoner in agony, nor demon trapped by spell,
No ghost that moaned in penance, nor a soul in mortal fright,
'Twas just the Countess "singing"-- for she practiced every night
The Countess was convinced that she should have been born a Bard,
And thus she made the lives of those within her power hard.
For they must listen to her sing, and smile at what they heard,
And swear she had a golden voice that rivaled any bird.
The Countess was convinced that she had wedded 'neath her state,
And so the worst lot fell upon her meek and mild mate.
Not only must the Count each night endure her every song,
But suffer silent her abuse, be blamed for every wrong.
It was a dark and stormy night-- or so the Bards aver--
And so perhaps that was the reason why there was no stir,
When suddenly the "music" ceased; so when dawn raised his head,
Within the tower the servants found the Countess stiff and dead.
The Heralds came at once to judge if there had been foul play,
And questioned all most carefully to hear what they would say.
And one fact most astounding to them quickly came to light--
That every movement of the Count was vouched for on that night.
The castle folk by ones and twos came forward on their own,
To swear the Count had never once that night been all alone.
So though the tower had been locked tight, with two keys to the door,
One his, one hers, the Count was plain absolved of guilt for sure.
At length the Heralds then pronounced her death as suicide.
And all within the district voiced themselves quite satisfied.
It was a verdict, after all, that none wished to refute--
Though no one could imagine why she tried to eat her lute.