Not tonight, thank you

A Charm Against Trick-or-Treaters

Attend ye, this All Hallows’ Eve,
Heed this warning: take thy leave,
Get ye hence, touch not this door,
Retrace thy steps, disturb no more
Our sweet repose at close of day.
Thou art not welcome, go thy way.
Thy witch’s hat and monster mask
Shall not avail thee: prithee ask
Not here for toothsome snacks or sweets –
Demand elsewhere thy tricks or treats.
For in this house a creature lies
With sharp white teeth and burning eyes.
Flee while ye may, rouse not his wrath
And take again thy homeward path.
Be ye not heard, be ye not seen
Within our bounds this Hallowe’en.


12 thoughts on “Not tonight, thank you

    • Glad you liked it, Charles – your great nation has given us Brits many wonderful things, but I fear trick-or-treat is one US import I can never learn to love! I’m also pleased to report that the charm is 100% effective!

    • I think you changed the title, so I will repost 🙂

      Hi Nick

      So no treats for those poor kids that go out of the comfort of their central heated homes, leavng their online games and wifi, to go find some candy… You are very harsh!

      I like the poem though. It sounds authentically old! I am glad the creature has white teeth. This means it does brush twice a day!

      So how is All Hallow’s Eve spent in the traditional English manner?

      We have Sint Maarten on 11 november, where children go door to door with self made lanterns, singing special Saint Martin songs to get sweets.. Ancient tradition (catholic but that never was an issue, and it is probably based on older customs) It is kind of fun 🙂 One year I forgot to buy sweets, so I gave them fruit and a coin. They rather have sweets.


      • Hello – I think you left your comment on the ‘old’ gonecycling site (I posted it there too!) so it hasn’t gone, don’t worry! And I’m glad you like it. The creature with the ‘sharp white teeth’ is, of course, the whippet, who actually spent the whole evening whining and whimpering because of the fireworks, so he’d have been no use to chase off anyone who ignored the charm! Sint Maarten sounds like a nice festival; at least the brats give you a song in exchange for sweets!

  1. *Big Laugh*
    Oh if only I’d used this last night! A most wonderful charm indeed! I may need to use this next year. 🙂
    Here in Oz Hallowe’en is really a non-event. Nonetheless there are determined children determined to get sweets. I must confess the holiday is very lost on me, it will always be an American holiday to my mind.

    Thanks for sharing this piece. I really enjoyed it! 🙂

    • Thank you, Tikarma – glad you enjoyed it. And do feel free to use it next year; it really does work! Hallowe’en always used to be a farily low-key affair here, too, but the trick-or-treat thing seems to get bigger (and more aggressive) every year. It’s another festival that’s had its meaning washed away in a tide of commercialism. Sad.

  2. Halloween was more observed in Ireland than it is in England.

    But the whole Americanised intoduction of ‘trick or treat’ is an abomination!!!

    And pumpkins instead of turnips is just gross commercialisation!!


    Good poem though


  3. When Ethel and I lived on the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska we felt somewhat this way. The Winnebago kids were so poor we bought bags and bags and bags of treats, but by the evening was over we would have gladly said this spell to relieve our weariness. Here in Continental Divide, though, isolated at the foot of the Zuni Mountains across from the red cliffs that tower over a narrow valley, we see nary a witch or goblin, and the truth is we wish some of the Winnebago kids would visit us. What a fun poem, Nick.

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