To Manfred’s Grief

His eyes reckon’d the frail shimmers of lonesome stars.

Upon which he made wishes in distant past.

A past whilst his heart wasn’t sodomized by fatal truths;

Ere his soul was wrought with woes

And smitten by the Malleus of Miseries;

Ere life lick’d him with its sooty tongue.

But now he stood — his wishes rent and heart cleav’d,

As he’d gain’d the truth of stars

Of things that shine and Burn

And lost his will to long thereon.

Alas, the Bearer of Light must fall unto

Everlasting Fire of unquench’d despair;

Alone, save the echoes of his wails,

Must he drink from his own chalice of fire.

As stars faded into night’s dark bosom

Moaning winds swept the barren land;

The ashen flickers of thunderbolts

Cast the clouds into Gothic steeds

Raining a thousand lances as they trod

O’er his leaden spirit and wrenched heart.

Picture : John Martin, The Last Man (1849)