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“Upon Reading Byron’s Darkness” A prose poem by Stephen J. Dawson Jr.

Upon Reading Byron’s Darkness by Stephen J. Dawson Jr.

The snake lie in wait shan’t grant you his rattle. The predator wise shan’t babel but rather flood venom through the blood of his prey.

Men pray as they dredge and sing the dirge with an insatiable urge to mourn from morn to the eve of their steps off the ledge, the edge into the abyss.

They shan’t be missed while their remains subsist the beasts they used to kiss. No bliss be foreseen. No thoughts were as clean as a breath during day.
Decay did perfume the air that consumed the blackened lungs that still drew breath.

For soon, no life, just death and his deft reaping of souls for keeping as a memory of man’s march while sleeping. The march to his throne, and though it unknown, shall be overthrown.

The nature we dread, invoked by the dead, will soon nest her bed into our castles and lesser homes. Soon, moans and groans that chill us to bone will bury our poems and hope to return our sinew.

For in you is a fire you ignite on the pyre that nature once graciously bore. But nature grew tired not being admired and returns to as it was before.

Before man and machine had dredged the serene, the blue crystalline, and green pastures rich with fuel. O, we were young and with a sharp tongue, we spoke a plan thought by a fool.

The tools that would brave us through nature’s toils can no longer say, “we’ll keep you in day, my friend made of clay.” And we become prey, nature’s own oil.

We still sing that dirge, despite the burnt church, while buried by soil but before our meat’s spoiled, were scavenged by vultures. And with it, humanity, and all of his culture.

We once gazed in wonder at the beauty we’d plunder. We’d pillage our garden, as a snake and a charlatan would tempt us that fateful eve.

We were true and believed that the Earth, as it seems, was ours but would rue the days when we were naïve, were dumb, a species so glum.

But only we with our reason could ever conceive a plot so cunning, that would murder each season, that even those snakes were almost deceived.

We fancied us gods but return to the sod, without being in urn, yet still, with a burn, we grinned at the slaughter of our Mother’s sweet daughters, half of all lambs and calf.

No longer around as nature laughs last, a tree falls in the forest without sound, without crash. No whisper was made, nor whimper, nor bang, as before, in the past.

-Stephen J. Dawson Jr.

Wrote this after reading Darkness by Lord Byron after not having slept for a few days. Probably needs work and will post audio once I’m able to. Enjoy!

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6 thoughts on ““Upon Reading Byron’s Darkness” A prose poem by Stephen J. Dawson Jr.

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  1. Brilliant post, I have not read Byron and his darkness but these lines are great, need no further work.
    We still sing that dirge, despite the burnt church, while buried by soil but before our meat’s spoiled, were scavenged by vultures. And with it, humanity, and all of his culture.

    We still sing that dirge.

    1. Thank you very much!! Byron really captures the motif that inspired this. Highly recommended.

  2. This spoke to me so much.
    This stanza:
    “For in you is a fire you ignite on the pyre that nature once graciously bore. But nature grew tired not being admired and returns to as it was before.”
    Just stunning. The whole piece is so meticulously crafted, despite your disclaimer in your post script.
    Enjoying you and your mind

    1. Thank you very much! More thanks are due to Lord Byron for inspiring that train of thought though. I really appreciate it!

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