‘Darkness’ A Poem By Lord Byron (1998)


SILENCE CLOCK TICKING CLOCK TICKING & SINGING: Life is but a dream MUSIC BEGINS & SINGING FADE OUT MUSIC CLOCK TICKING CLOCK SILENT BEGIN NARRATION I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth swung
blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came, and went and came, and brought no day, And men forgot their passions in the dread of this desolation; and all heart were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light. And they did live by watchfires – and the thrones, The palaces of crowned kings, the huts, the habitations of
all things which dwell, were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed, And men were gathered round their blazing homes to
look once more into each other’s face; A fearful hope was all the world contain’d; forest were set on fire but hour by hour they
fell and faded and the crackling trunks… extinguish’d with a crash and all was black. The brows of men by the despairing light wore an unearthly
aspect, as by fits the flashes fell upon them; some lay down and hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest heir chins upon their clenched hands, and smiled; And others hurried to and fro, and fed their funeral piles with fuel,
and looked up with mad disquietude on the dull sky, The pall of a past world; and then again with curses cast them down
upon the dust, and gnash’d their teeth and howl’d: the wild birds shriek’d, And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, and
flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes Came tame and tremolous; and vipers crawl’d and twined themselves among
the multitude, hissing, but stingless, they were slain for food: And War, which for a moment was no more, did glut himself again; a meal was bought
with blood, and each sate sullenly apart gorging himself in gloom: no love was left; All earth was but one thought and that was death, Immediate and inglorious; and the pang of famine fed upon all entrails men
died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh; The meagre by the meagre were devoured, even dogs assail’d their
masters, all save one,and he was faithful to a corpse, and kept the birds and beasts and famish’d men at bay, till
hunger clung them, or the dropping dead lured their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,but with a piteous and
perpetual moan and a quick desolate cry, licking the hand which answered not with a caress, he died. The crowd was famish’d by degrees; but two of an enormous city did survive, and they were enemies; They met beside the dying embers of an altar-place where had been heap’d a
mass of holy things for an unholy usage they raked up; And beheld each others aspects and saw and shriek’d and died. Even of their mutual hideousness they died, Unknowing who he was upon whose brow Famine had written Fiend. The world was void, the populous and the powerful was a lump, seasonless, herbless,
treeless, manless, lifeless, a lump of death, a chaos of hard clay. The rivers, lakes, and ocean stood still, And nothing stirred within their silent depths; The moon their mistress had expired before; The winds were withered in the stagnant air, and the clouds perish’d;Darkness had no need of aid from them. She was She was… the universe.

5 thoughts on “‘Darkness’ A Poem By Lord Byron (1998)

  1. Lord Byron me amo sin conocerme, el me escribio un poema, se llama precisamente ''para Isabel''.

  2. Great work! It has always mystified and frustrated me that this poem is never in anthologies, but "She Walks in Beauty" and "The Destruction of Sennacherib," which aren't half as good, always are. Byron's best works are the book-length poems, but this is his best short piece by far.

  3. Very good presentation of a vivid poem. I have showed "Darkness" to many people for years and they are almost always impressed. MAD DISQUIETUDE!

  4. 'Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day' – such a poem, also enjoy Bauhaus' Departure – nice video

  5. A haunting poem indeed. Sort of anticipating William Hope Hodgsen's THE NIGHT LAND.

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