You know some men who would rather lose than win
No matter what game it is they play
Losing becomes an addiction for some men
The taste they crave is bleak and bittersweet
The acid cut of recrimination
The shifting fog of lost illusion
Some men will do anything to lose
If it will bring their hand to a swift end
They will happily squander a fortune
Betray all their family, shame their name
And think nothing of it. These men you know
Might choose to die at any moment
And be glad of it. And be grateful
This is not the kind of man you are
You are a gambler. You are not
Afraid to lose, but you will not love it
Even with the most hopeless hand you will
Stay at the table, you will fight and play
You will wait for the game to move your way
So now, at midnight in the wood of Murroa
Darkness so thick you cannot see your step
Why play a move you could never return from?
No. Take off the noose that hangs round your neck
Stay in the game while the dice are still rolling
Gamble and gamble and gamble again
The heir to a fortune squanders his inheritance on wine and gambling. Destitute and alone, he makes a desperate bargain with a gentleman he meets one midnight. For seven years he will have all the riches he craves. But when seven years are done, what will become of him then?
Sheridan Le Fanu’s story of a man’s pact with the devil is retold in 14 poems by Rufus Woodward.
‘Sir Dominick’s Bargain’ is Chapbook number one of four volumes published by the Olgada Press.