posted on Mar, 20 2014 @ 11:46 AM
In the 1800s, it was common practice for newspapers and journals to print unsigned poetry. The following poem was published on August 25, 1838 in
the Sangamo Journal. This was a Whig newspaper in Springfield, Illinois. It is widely believed (with good reason) to have been penned by Abraham
Lincoln, who is known to have suffered from deep deep depressions.
The introduction to the poem (part of the poem) - "The following lines were said to have been found near the bones of a man supposed to have
committed suicide in a deep forest on the flat branch of the Sangamon some time ago."
The bulk of the poem -
Here, where the lonely hooting owl
Sends forth his midnight moans,
Fierce wolves shall o’er my carcase growl,
Or buzzards pick my bones.
No fellow-man shall learn my fate,
Or where my ashes lie;
Unless by beasts drawn round their bait,
Or by the ravens’ cry.
Yes! I’ve resolved the deed to do,
And this the place to do it:
This heart I’ll rush a dagger through,
Though I in hell should rue it!
Hell! What is hell to one like me
Who pleasures never knew;
By friends consigned to misery,
By hope deserted too?
To ease me of this power to think,
That through my bosom raves,
I’ll headlong leap from hell’s high brink,
And wallow in its waves.
Though devils yell, and burning chains
May waken long regret;
Their frightful screams, and piercing pains,
Will help me to forget.
Yes! I’m prepared, through endless night,
To take that fiery berth!
Think not with tales of hell to fright
Me, who am damn’d on earth!
Sweet steel! come forth from your sheath,
And glist’ning, speak your powers;
Rip up the organs of my breath,
And draw my blood in showers!
I strike! It quivers in that heart
Which drives me to this end;
I draw and kiss the bloody dart,
My last—my only friend!
I am a fan of Lincoln and yet today was first time I have heard of this poem. For those who haven't ever suffered from serious clinical depression,
this is a window into the suffering a person goes through. I don't know how Lincoln managed to keep moving through life let alone how he was able to
manage the country and the civil war for four years. I'm in awe that a person suffering so much could do it. My admiration for him has grown a lot
If Lincoln hadn't gone into politics, he could have been a writer. I think Lincoln could have given Edgar Allen Poe a run for his money. The
feeling and imagery in this poem .... the despair and pain .... he paints a picture of what real soulful despair is. Not just the 'sadness bouts'
that all of us get ... but real deep depression.
Anyways, I thought I'd share this with you all. It's thought provoking.