Rattle his bones
Over the stones
It’s only a pauper
Who nobody owns
Words taken from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book - one of my absolute favourites. I had the poem inscribed on a set of four rings.
This is gorgeous. Also, I’ve been curious about something for a long time: where is that poem/song originally from? I know it appears in Ulysses but Joyce didn’t write it either…
When I was writing The Graveyard Book, I found it listed as a nursery rhyme in a book on English funeral customs through the ages. (Which one? I don’t know. I had a lot of funeral/graveyard books.) It may have originated with The Pauper’s Drive by Thomas Noel, although the way that Noel quotes it in the poem, it may well be that his refrain was borrowed from something already current. Many people, from Joyce to Morrissey, have used it, or bits of it.