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Maud is the object of affection in a poem of the same name by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The poem describes the narrator's descent into fractured consciousness at the thought of his beloved. In NetHack, Maud's name occurs in various aspects of the game, most often as possible names for ghosts appearing on special levels and in haunted temples, as well as some of the player monsters on the Astral Plane.

One of the unidentified scroll labels is DUAM XNAHT, or "THANX MAUD" written backwards, and is associated to the scroll of amnesia in the source code (although this has no effect on the chances of such a scroll having that label). Reading the scroll of amnesia itself causes you to forget several things and produces a message referencing the poem (either "Who was that Maud person anyway?" or "Thinking of Maud you forget everything else"). Naming yourself Maud produces the same effect, but with a different message about your mind turning inward on itself.

Encyclopedia entry

Get thee hence, nor come again,
Mix not memory with doubt,
Pass, thou deathlike type of pain,
Pass and cease to move about!
'Tis the blot upon the brain
That will show itself without.
For, Maud, so tender and true,
As long as my life endures
I feel I shall owe you a debt,
That I never can hope to pay;
And if ever I should forget
That I owe this debt to you
And for your sweet sake to yours;
O then, what then shall I say? -
If ever I should forget,
May God make me more wretched
Than ever I have been yet!

[ Maud, And Other Poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson ]

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