To all those I once held dearly;
To all those I did know sincerely;
I have not seen for many years,
My debt is your arrears.
Yes, you fill my dreaming night,
To move, to speak, without a light;
Rooted in my reaping river,
Supplanting dead who’ll have me shiver.
My body’s a blunt portcullis,
Designed for neither malice
Contrived nor brooding fears,
Raised to feed fore-mentioned peers.
My brain now ballast, deadened weight,
Sea-bedded hull will keep my fate,
Mid innocence of baleen whales
And uncles drowned, wrapped with sails,
One’s niece a starry, Parisian dancer,
Étoile, no less, so my sorry disaster,
Forgotten by a Victorian mind
For later archivists to find.
My briny lesson – do not be named
For dubious fathers, nor regents famed;
We all will have our future fight,
Though tunnelling moles have more insight
Than me, believer in dogs to see man’s soul,
Mine charred and black, with blighting hole;
Food unfit for a foulest ghoul –
Defend, my friends, from all that’s cruel.