Poet’s Note: “Back when I was eighteen years old, things were sort of grim with the Vietnam War and my draft status up in the air. I had just graduated from high school the week before and was considering what my future might hold. The word ‘Despair’ popped into my head and, with all the wisdom available to me at that ripe old age, I put pen to paper and wrote out a poem…”

Accurséd be thou dark Despair,
Who covers o’er Joy’s golden hair.
And layest waste all happiness
With slyness of a sorceress.
Thou dwellest deep within the earth
Wherein thy mother gave thee birth.
Thy mother Doubt, they father Woe,
Thou art indeed a mighty foe
Who conquers e’en the mighty Jove
And turns aside the stubborn Love,
As Clytemnestra soon did learn
On Agamemnon’s late return.
Within the heart of man you go
To plant the seeds of Doubt and Woe.
It makes no difference, strongest, weakest,
The heart which least expects, Thou seekest.
Despised Depression is Thy son
Who grabs a hold when Thou hast won.
But He is but a flickering shade,
Who leavest when the soul is frayed.
But Thou, Despair, Thou stayest longer,
For You must always be the stronger.
Beneath the fair Apollo’s flight
All lands Thou roam where there is light.
The mystic Nile, the swift Euphrates,
Where no light shines in deepest Hades.
There is no place where man can flee
To be, from Thee, secure and free.
I cannot run from Thee to hide
For in Thy realm I must abide.
But as my days on earth are spent,
I ask that Thou be lenient.


James A. Tweedie is a recently retired pastor living in Long Beach, Washington. He likes to walk on the beach with his wife. He has written and self-published four novels and a collection of short stories. He has several hundred unpublished poems tucked away in drawers. 

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2 Responses

  1. Kathy F.

    Excellent poem, very well-written, and undoubtedly destined to endure throughout the ages!

  2. James A. Tweedie

    Someone has chosen a powerful picture to accompany my poem. Imagine the despair of lying down to sleep for the night in the bitter cold knowing that you and your companions will not awake to see the morning.


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