The Swarthy Bard

Deep Despair on One Dark, Dark Night


When fraught with gloom and psychic pain,
I all alone bemoan my state
like one who has sunk down again
into despair which drowns his fate.


Disconsolate beyond midnight,
I trouble dear God with my cries
as I bear this bipolar plight
with burning, red, tear-laden eyes.

The night is long—I feel distraught;
I long for rest to help forget
this sorrow's hold that has me wrought
like people in a crashing jet!


Inside, I feel the Reaper's scythe
as I think out my suicide;
I could slit my wrist with a knife
or swallow pills to end this dark "ride."


Or, like Sylvia Plath, I can
stick my head in a gas oven;
it's painless—sure! (But then why plan
an end that's too trite and certain?).


I think, too, of Virginia Woolf,
how she drowned herself in a lake; 
I, too, feel swallowed in a gulf
of swirling sadness that could take


me to my death! Why do I feel
so unloved and alone now? Am
I so hopeless? Why do I feel
so worthless and empty? How am


I to know—(that) if I kill myself—
whether my loved ones won't miss me?
"Don't quit!" I think:—so I will myself
to live (as if God's saints kissed me)!


So I thus find solace in this—
that God and family do care.
And if I die I will be missed; 
so I endure the deep Despair.


And then Rest comes. And I have peace.
And in the morn, I wake arising—
Hope breaks in (and gives me new lease):
and then my life I cease despising!

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