David Lewis Paget
Lystrata - Poem by David Lewis Paget
On the outer edge of darkness,
On the other side of sleep,
And beyond the mist, the starkness
Of the landscape makes me weep,
For Lystrata, like a phantom
Glides and shimmers through the trees,
As her hair trails out behind her
At the slightest subtle breeze.
But the sun has not yet risen
So the shadows there are dim,
And the voices in the distance
Mutter words that sound like ‘R.E.M.',
But Lystrata leads me further
Through that one repeating myth,
Where we leave the trees behind us
At the stark edge of the cliff.
I can hear the breakers rolling
On the beach, so far below,
As Lystrata turns toward me,
Cries forever: ‘Now you know! '
But I reach on out to touch her
Almost blinded by my tears,
When her shadow fades before me
As she turns, and disappears!
And I'm driving through the night
Toward some future, cold and bleak,
With her sitting close beside me
Though we very rarely speak,
While the anger and the hurt has
Ravelled, rabid at my brain,
When she said: ‘You know it's over! '
Then I knew - I was insane!
For the darkness closed around me
On that narrow strip of road,
And this dream that would confound me
Kept repeating, like some ode,
That the world had somehow narrowed
To the pinpoint of a beam,
So I swerved into the darkness
And I heard Lystrata scream!
There are phantoms moving greyly
At the other side of sleep,
And their voices still dismay me
As I make that final leap,
For ‘How long? ' would seem to echo
And re-echo through my tears,
As another phantom whispers:
‘Well, it's all of twenty years! '
And Lystrata stands before me
As the blood runs down her face,
‘Once you said that you'd adore me,
But you leave me little grace! '
Then she leaves me in the darkness
And the mist, for me to weep,
At the outer edge of darkness
On the other side of sleep!
David Lewis Paget
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