Bon Voyage

Bon Voyage


Not for long, friend, not for long! This I swear:
Your stay in earth will not be overlong.
You’ll soldier on as long as you can bear.
Have patience!—You will soon find a new song.
Why should you walk this weary way for ever,
Trapped in the maze with others lost like you,
Going round in frantic circles in a fever
Of mad anxiety and déjà vu?

Maybe you’ll choose your own exit and go
With dignity. Let’s hope you have that choice.
Or maybe chance will intervene and throw
You into the abyss of endless  joys.
Go steady, friend! Keep a stiff upper lip.
Your port is there—it’s waiting for your ship.

6 thoughts to “Bon Voyage”

  1. Suicide A-OK ? and ‘… the abyss of endless joys’ awaiting all eh?

    Reminded me of this from Francis Thompson:

    ‘Tis said there were no thought of Hell,
    Save Hell were taught.
    That there should be a heaven for all’s self-credible.

    Not so the thing appears to me
    ‘Tis Heaven that lies beyond our sights
    and Hell too possible that proves,
    For all can feel the God that smites
    But ah how few the God that Loves

    1. @ Sabretache

      LD will appreciate your surprising reference to Francis Thompson.
      I say “surprising” because very few commenters on this site, if any, will even have heard of Francis Thompson. Let alone read any of his poems.

      LD tells me that Francis Thompson was one of her father’s favourite poets and taught her to love his poetry when she was a child. She knew “The Hound of Heaven” by heart when she was a 13-year-old, even though she didn’t understand it at that age.

      Her favourite Francis Thompson poems are “The Mistress of Vision”, “Daisy” and “The Kingdom of God” which her father recited to her when she was nine years old.


      1. Thank you for those kind words Sister.

        I feel a keen kinship with Francis Thompson, partly due to parallels between our respective adolescent+ years, but mainly due to his exquisite poetry – especially those on children. His life was tragic but he never lost his faith. ‘The Hound of Heaven’ is the story of my life; it is embedded in my Soul and like Lasha I know the whole by heart. I consider it to be one of the greatest odes in the English language.

        Difficult to pick a favorite; there are so many, but I concur with all you mention, especially ‘The Daisy’ which is another I know by heart. For those on children I would add ‘Little Jesus’ and for the most poignant description of what it was like to be homeless on the streets of Victorian London, this fragment from his ‘Sister Songs’:

        Forlorn, and faint, and stark,
        I had endured through watches of the dark
        The abashless inquisition of each star,
        Yea, was the outcast mark
        of all those heavenly passers’ scrutiny;
        Stood bound and helplessly
        For Time to shoot his barbèd minutes at me;
        Suffered the trampling hoof of every hour
        In night’s slow-wheelèd car;
        Until the tardy dawn dragged me at length
        From under those dread wheels; and, bled of strength,
        I waited the inevitable last.

        God bless

        1. @ Sabretache

          Many thanks for these wise reflections. What an uncanny coincidence that a person such as you should find yourself here on this site where 99.999 per cent our regular commenters would never even have heard of Francis Thompson! They would be repelled not only by his intense religiosity, which is so out of fashion nowadays, but also by his antiquarian style and frequent use of quaint archaic words.

          These are among LD’s favourite lines from ‘The Mistress of Vision’. Pure magic:

          Secret was the garden;
          Set i’ the pathless awe
          Where no star its breath can draw.
          Life, that is its warden,
          Sits behind the fosse of death. Mine eyes saw not,
          and I saw.

          It was a mazeful wonder;
          Thrice three times it was enwalled
          With an emerald—
          Seal-ed so asunder.
          All its birds in middle air hung a-dream,
          their music thralled.

          The Lady of fair weeping,
          At the garden’s core,
          Sang a song of sweet and sore
          And the after-sleeping;
          In the land of Luthany, and the tracts of Elenore.

          . . . . . . . . . .

          Where is the land of Luthany,
          And where the region Elenore?
          I do faint therefor.

          The Mistress of Vision

      2. I’ve have had the blog in my newsreader for years. I particularly appreciate Lasha’s insights into the utter debasement of much of western society that has occurred these past 60 years or so. Pure evil is rampant – literaly – in so many of its institutions and I know from experience that attempts to study the phenomenon, the better to expose and combat it, can be soul-destroying. I have finally concluded that Marx’s aphorism:

        The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.

        is totally wrong – the very root of most of our problems in fact – and that the 2nd sentence should instead read:

        The point, however, is to change oneself

        Yes, familiarity with GreeK/Roman mythology is needed not to be daunted by some of FT’s work. Having said that, I’m no classical scholar but still reckon that much of his poetry is accessible to anyone.

        I agree the soaring beauty of that ‘Mistress of Vision’ fragment.

        Also FI, I had considered a fragment of ‘The Kingdom of God (In no strange land)’ for my original post:

        The angels keep their ancient places;—
        Turn but a stone and start a wing!
        ’Tis ye, ’tis your estrangèd faces,
        That miss the many-splendoured thing.

        But the chosen one covered both my issues


  2. There is no “turning back” from a genuine suicide. “Attempted suicides” are for losers and attention-seekers – and I have no sympathy for such. Moreover, it is very inconsiderate of family and friends for someone to suicide in the house, or around others. I’ve encountered a college roommate who stuck a .44 magnum in his mouth in our shower room. What a damn mess! Thereafter, I went to the gymnasium to shower after my morning swim because I couldn’t get the image out of my mind whenever I went to the washroom in the house. Those thoughts don’t dissipate.
    I, myself, have considered suicide, too (like most folks have), but I have decided that IF I decide to do such a thing, it will be in the mountains, sitting under a tree, where only the coyotes and coons and possums and bear will scatter my remains (and I will use an old inexpensive shotgun so a fine one will not rust and decay out in the elements). (Maybe the buzzards will give me a “sky burial”??)
    Anyhow, just the thought of the hideous nature of the corpse is enough to deter the act. 🙁

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