The Banshee

One night, a banshee slunk away
from mate and child, and in the gloom
went to a village teacher’s tomb
requesting him: Inflect me, pray!

The village teacher climbed up straight
upon his gravstone with its plate
and to the apparition said
who meekly knelt before the dead:

"The banshee in the subject’s place,
the banhers, the possesive case,
the banher next is what they call
objective case - and that is all."

The banshee marvelled at the cases
and writhed with pleasure, making faces,
but said: "You did not add so far
the plural to the singular."

The teacher though admitted then
that this was not within his ken.
While bans were frequent, he advised
a she could not be pluralized.

The banshee, rising clammily
wailed: "What about my family?!"
But being not a learned creature
said humbly "thanks" and left her teacher.

Ch. Morgenstern, translated by ???