When, as a child, I lay alone with dread
I knew the dark could never be complete;
I watched the faithful lighthouse beam repeat
Its passage through my room, across my bed,
As if it were a messenger that said,
“I’m always here, my child, you need not weep,
Mine is a promise that I’ll always keep—
You need not fear the living or the dead.”

Now there’s no beam to interrupt the night
My sleepless vigils are still visited
By greyly shifting shafts of ghostly light
That play upon the wasteland of my bed;
Their transience is the message they repeat—
Only the dark can ever be complete.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 32 Number 6, on page 27
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