The fear is upon me worse every day
Fierce and growing, blowing like a gale in my
Face, a roar in my ears. Fever claws sharp in
My flesh. A poison in my blood. I dare not
Trust my eyes any longer. My tongue is thick
And tastes of ashes, and tastes of sodden earth.
I have not spoken to any man in days.
Thoughts scatter and tumble like shattered glass.
I cannot drink enough to draw them together.
Only one thing I do know – he is coming
He is coming, he is coming for me.
Oh God, can you forgive me? Father can you
Help me? I would give up much to be free of
This. I will make my confession. I will make
My penancy, give over all my vices, change all
My ways, live in retreat like a hermit, as your
Servant, as your servant, Lord. Oh God, please let
These prayers save me. Oh Lord, please let these
Prayers save me. Please let these prayers save me.
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.