Sunday, November 03, 2013



James Henry (1798-1876), "Pain," A Half Year's Poems (Dresden: C.C. Meinhold and Sons, 1854), p. 6 (accents omitted):
"Pain, who made thee?" thus I said once
To the grim unpitying monster,
As, one sleepless night, I watched him
Heating in the fire his pincers.

"God Almighty; who dare doubt it?"
With a hideous grin he answered:
"I'm his eldest best-beloved son,
Cut from my dead mother's bowels."

"Wretch, thou liest;" shocked and shuddering
To the monster I replied then;
"God is good, and kind, and gracious;
Never made a thing so ugly."

"Tell me then, since thou know'st better,
Whose I am, by whom begotten."
"Hell's thy birth-place, and the Devil
Both thy father and thy mother."

"Be it so; to me the same 'tis
Whether I'm God's son or grandson,
And to thee not great the difference
Once thy flesh between my tongs is."

"Spare me, spare me, Pain;" I shrieked out,
As the red-hot pincers caught me;
"Thou art God's son; aye thou'rt God's self;
Only take thy fingers off me."
Hat tip: Karl Maurer.

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