[From Manx Soc vol 16]
A LEGEND OF PEEL CASTLE.
The prose narrative of this legend is narrated in Waldron's Description of the Isle of Man (Manx Society, vol. xi. p. 12, 1865).
AN ancient castle stands in Peel, all in fair Mona's Isle,
Where formerly brave soldiers would their weary hours beguile ;
And every night a spectre-dog, at twelve, appeared in sight,
Within the guard-house, where they sat all trembling with affright,.
The spectre-hound was large and rough, with very shaggy head;
His teeth were very prominent, his eyes were very red.
From one small passage out he came-his colour black and tan,
And this, now, was the spectre-hound seen in the Isle of Man.
Night after night he crouch'd him down, while fiercely glared his eyes;
He was (the soldiers all declared) a demon in disguise
And not a man would follow him, as through the passage dark
They saw him every night retreat, and heard his fearful bark.
They pass the cup, they drain the bowl, yet feel their spirits sink,
When one more hardy than the rest, while madden'd with the drink,
Swore boldly that " the spectre-hound he'd follow to his den,
And if a demon he should be, he'd ascertain it then."
In vain they strove to keep him back, he struggles to be free,
And cries, like Hamlet to the ghost, " Go on, I'll follow thee ! "
When through the passage rush'd the dog, and through it rush'd the man;
A struggle and a shriek was heard, while they pass'd round the can.
Back rush'd the soldier presently, his frame convulsed with fear,
He pointed to the brandy-flask upon a table near;
They bring it to him instantly; he trembles at the sight;
Said they-"Where is the spectre-hound? what have you seen to-night?
"Where is the spectre-hound ?" they cried; but not a word he said,
In half-an-hour afterwards this man was lying dead.
The dog was never seen again-explain the fact who can?
And this, now, was the spectre-hound seen in the Isle of Man!