To the Ghost of Sherlock Holmes

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

To the Ghost of Sherlock Holmes is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche poem written anonymously, first published in The St. James's Gazette on 11 february 1895 and reprinted in several American newspapers.


To the Ghost of Sherlock Holmes

To the Ghost of Sherlock Holmes
The St. James's Gazette (11 february 1895, p. 4)

When Sherlock Holmes, ingenious man, pursued his strange career,
We studied his adventures with a sympathy sincere,
Although in time his victories monotonous became,
Because his base opponents never won a single game.

He caught his latest criminal, and then at last — he died;
"We mourn him, we lament him, but it's time he went," we cried;
Ah, foolish words! Soon after we regretted him, dismayed
To find he'd left a family to carry on the trade.

They swarm in every magazine, each journal with them teems,
Detecting obvious criminals by very obvious schemes,
Adapting to their purposes devices long ago
Invented by the master hand of great Garboriau.

Their wisdom, too, is marvelous; the mud upon your boots
Informs them to a penny what your balance is at Coutts';
They know your mother's maiden name, what train you traveled by,
And if you've had lumbago — from the color of your tie!

Yes! Sherlock Holmes is dead and gone; but still in other shapes
We meet the old detective whom no criminal escapes;
The hateful "Strange Occurrence" or "Mysterious Affair"
Still, still infests the magazines and drives us to despair.

Oh, ghost of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, please mercifully kill
These shameless imitators of your transcendent skill,
Or haunt the homes of editors, and pointedly suggest
That fictionary criminals might be allowed a rest!