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The Dream

by Richard "Mad Jack" Schulze

When I was a young lad, and in my prime,
Carefree, I dreamed away the day so long
With reveries of women, wine and song;
I had world enough, but, alas, not time.

And so I approach’d the middle of life
Lost in a dark wood, caught in a foul maze,
When anon came a vision from my past days,
Whose countenance bespoke of mirth, not strife.

He said, ‘I’m the ghost of Newstead Abbey;
Byron’s the name, debauchery’s my game.
I’ve come to take away you and your dame
To partake in our demonic revelry.

Our way across the Styx did tend,
And once in Hades, remarked our kind guide,
‘Regard you Byronists, for they have died,
And now pay the price for sins without end. ’

Amidst the din and through the hellish smoke
I saw grim faces writhe in agony.
Then spake their leader, a man hight Henrey,
‘Ye who enter here, abandon all hope.’

Hearing those words I began to despair:
Had the cruel Fates three woven for me
Such a wretched and sordid destiny?
I thought to myself, ‘This is hardly fair!’

But then on my shoulder came a tap, tap, tapping
As my mistress kissed me, saying, ‘It seems,
My liege, you have been having some bad dreams.’
Thus reassured, I resumed my napping.

But other designs had my nubile young friend.
Her am’rous intent aroused my desire
And made me forget of Hades’ cruel fire.