The Wisdom of the Midnight Grave

The night I met Sophia, I was far from sober
I think still of how I’d feel had I the chance to know her.

Drunk of the heart and of the mind, to mention not the liver,
I stood and spoke and laughed and joked to strangers holding mirrors.
Their eyes, their masks, their hateful strands of whimsy known to few—
such are the facts of tasteless tracts said toward my view.

The words and deeds and thoughtless pranks of my false peers of age
soon seemed to fade from this parade of lustful angst and rage.
The dead air’s night and willful fright took naught but some to bed
as mist and moon and midnight gloom brought visions to my head.

The grove, the grave, that erstwhile slave, my friend quite prone to fancy
stood yet aside the twilight stride, its glow and life entrancing.
Enter did I into that realm of dead and mournful song,
interred inside was all I knew of life and love withdrawn.

And as I stood along the stone that marked my mother’s home,
the mist and moon and midnight swooned and offered up a throne.
Seated there, in autumn’s air, I heard the wispy whiskered call,
and sleep and sweep along the streets did death’s embroidered shawl.

“Come now,” said she, her hand outreached, her eyes and spirit loosed.
“Who, me?” said I, my eyes enticed, her deathly glow a truce.
With little left to wonder, I moved to make demands;
with wisdom, whips, and winsome wish instead I shook her hand.

Sophia, she speaks in volumes; her hand is the concernéd touch,
but my drunk ears, my useless peers, could not discern much.
I sat with spite as snow and ice began to tumble down,
report did I the record thy sightless eyes do sound.

My words were minced, my heart was torn, my conscious cast aside;
for all I knew and all I was, from her could not I hide.