Sunlight streaming in amber radiance upon my earth.
Such joy, such radiant warmth, meant the day,
Walking arm in arm with my love on a Saturday afternoon,
Through the grassy hills and meadows,
Singing melodious strains of ancient folk-song
With exuberant, if ill-trained, voices
While the lone gypsy fiddler solemnly plied his bow in the distance.
We walked undaunted among the throng of strangers
Hurrying through the cobblestone streets to chase their daily destiny.
Some would frown, but some smiled as they passed us
To see such a happy pair, two swans in a placid pond of contentment.
My blood flowed warm, stirred by the fire of Helios,
The sun, my spirit's counsel, waking me at dawn,
Spreading life in verdant waves across the barren earth.
The music of morning,
Pipers and drummers from a distant troop of infantry,
Briskly partaking in a morning march.
Robins and thrushes chirping in an intimate chorus
Pierced by the discordant raven's caw.
With the dawn I rose with my fellow man,
Such wonder was my life, simple yet rewarding.
All is gone.
That cursed night!
A dark-clad stranger, cold and pleading
Stayed at my hearth; I thought him sleeping.
But as I slept alone that night, the madness crept into my life.
Descending upon my throat with wicked fangs.
"Forgive me." said the stranger.
Morning came. I woke in terror.
My flesh as white as salt
My throat pierced with painful wounds,
And I knew that henceforth, I would know only darkness.
Now, must I dwell in eternal twilight.
The sun, once my friend, now a deadly bane.
My blood runs cold, so very cold,
A chill which permeates to my very core.
I long to quench the ice within my veins
With blood, warm, sanguine, living blood,
To return to the dying embers of life to my pallid flesh,
If only for a brief and tender moment.
Curse this hunger which bids me murder!
This bloody thirst consumes my soul,
Licking my heart with the flames of eternal torment.
I cannot die; I can but kill,
A cannibal cursed with a conscience,
The thirst, oh, the painful thirst!
Now I sit alone in my library
Seeking a salve for my sorrow from the wisdom of the past,
Or sit at the piano mournfully playing the chords of a majestic
Symphony I once heard in those days of light.
Forsaken are the songs of morning for the dirge of night.
Owls, dogs, and crickets join in a darker chorus,
And I perceive the suffering cries of my victims and their loved ones,
An unending sonata of blood, sorrow, and solitude.
Cold, lonely, hopeless solitude.
A bitter silence broken only by my mourning.
Why did you take your life, my love?
Oh, my love, why did you desert me?
George Chadderdon © 1992