David Park Barnitz

At The End Of The Century

Now I am come to the nadir at last, to the absolute sorrow,
     Now all the stars are gone out of my sky;
Night everlasting is mine without hope or desire of the morrow,
     All my life's hopes are gone tombwards to die.
All my life's glories lie perisht around me; and lo with great laughing
     Laugh I out loud, and I care not at all;
Here with mine Anguish, my Sorrow, my Madness, my Grief, I sit quaffing
     Wine, in high state in my echoing hall.
This is the last night I drink with you, maniac wassailers dreary!
     Lift up your goblets and drink ere I go!
Lo, I am easily bor'd, I am easily tired and made weary;
     Now at the last I am weary of Woe.
Lo, I that walk in the flower crown'd season of youthfulness golden,
     Think ye that all things my gladness can slay?
Sorrow is fitting for dotards and them that are loath some and olden;
     I am as one that goes ever away.
Lo, I laugh out at Grief, lo, I laugh in unending rejoicing.
     I that have nightshade entwin'd in my hair;
Heart of me, what dost thou here in the wearisome darkness, revoicing
     Yesterday's stale and forgotten despair?
Now it is midnight; but soon shall the wakening glory of morning
     Shine in the East, when the darkness is gone;
Now in my spirit that sat for a time in the darkness of mourning
     Waketh in gladness the mystical dawn.
New spring laugheth without to thy heart it is calling! and o'er thee
     Soon shall the banners of dawn be unfurl'd;
Wait thou no longer, O heart, O heart that art strong, for before thee
     Lieth the pomp of the great high world!
Now it is midnight; my Anguish, my Mourning, my Sadness, my Sorrow,
     Crown you with nightshade, and once more with me
Drink and make merry; farewell! I am here with you now; on the morrow
     Sail I over the mighty sea.

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