Signs of a hundred beers and whiskies
Flashed from the walls above, and the mirrors
And glasses behind the bar were lighted
In some strange way, and into my spirit
A thousand shafts of terrible fire
Burned like death, and I fell.—The story
Of what came then, you know.
But tell me,
What does the whole thing mean?—What are we—
Slaves of an awful ignorance?—puppets
Pulled by a fiend?—or gods without knowing it?
Do we shut from ourselves our own salvation,—
Or what do we do!—I tell you, Domine,
There are times in the lives of us poor devils
When heaven and hell get mixed:—though conscience
May come like a whisper of Christ to warn us
Away from our sins, it is lost or laughed at,—
And then we fall. And for all who have fallen—
Even for him—I hold no malice,
Nor much compassion: a mightier mercy
Than mine must shrieve him.—And I,—I am going
Into the light?—or into the darkness?
Why do I sit through these sickening hours,
And hope?—Good God! are they hours!—hours? . . .
Yes!—I am done with days. And to-morrow—
We two may meet! . . . To-morrow! . . . To-morrow! . . .