Charles Lamb

(10 February 1775 – 27 December 1834 / London)

Hypochondriacus - Poem by Charles Lamb

By myself walking,
To myself talking,
When as I ruminate
On my untoward fate,
Scarcely seem I
Alone sufficiently,
Black thoughts continually
Crowding my privacy;
They come unbidden,
Like foes at a wedding,
Thrusting their faces
In better guests' places,
Peevish and malecontent,
Clownish, impertinent,
Dashing the merriment:
So in like fashions
Dim cogitations
Follow and haunt me,
Striving to daunt me,
In my heart festering,
In my ears whispering,
'Thy friends are treacherous,
'Thy foes are dangerous,
'Thy dreams ominous.'


Fierce Anthropophagi,
Spectre, Diaboli,
What scared St. Antony,
Hobgoblins, Lemures,
Dreams of Antipodes,
Night-riding Incubi
Troubling the fantasy,
All dire illusions
Causing confusions;
Figments heretical,
Scruples fantastical,
Doubts diabolical,
Abaddon vexeth me,
Mahu perplexeth me,
Lucifer teareth me-

Jesu! Maria! liberate nos ab his diris tentationibus Inimici.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010



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