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N ancient enemy have I,
For he never leaveth me,
Never gives my soul relief,
Never lets my sorrow cease,
Pale he is, and sad and stern;
And whene'er he cometh nigh,
Blue and dim the torches burn,
Pale and shrunk the roses turn;
Many a time with fiery lance,
And one of us must die!
I have said, "Let ancient sages
Charm me from my thoughts of pain!"
And I strove to think-in vain!
When at last soft sleep comes o'er me, A cold hand is on my heart;
Stern sad eyes are there before me,
Not in dreams will he depart:
And when the same dreary vision
From my weary
brain has fled,
Daylight brings the living phantom,
Bending o'er me all the while,
With his cruel, bitter smile,
Ever with me, ever nigh ;
And either he or I must die!
Then I said, long time ago, "I will flee to other climes,
I will leave mine ancient foe!"
Though I wandered far and wide,—
And I fled where the blue waters
I have been where Nile's broad river
Runs upon the burning sand;
Then I fled where snows eternal
Where the rosy lightnings gleam,
Flashing through the northern sky;
I had fled in vain!
I have thought, “ If I can gaze
For I know that he is nothing
As I gazed at him the more,
Then I said," Mine arm is strong,
I have struggled with him long-
Once I battled with him so
That I thought I laid him low;
Murmuring to myself I said,
And a sense of quick despair,
enemy was there!
Listen, for my soul is weary,
I have called on one to aid me
Strength and hope fail day by day;
I shall cheat him of his
Some day soon, I know not when,
He has wounded me before,
But my heart can bear no more;
Pray that hour may come to me,
Only then shall I be free;
Death alone has strength to take me
Where my foe can never be
Death, and Death alone, has power