Horror Story by Elder James Olson

I think this century a haunted castle
Where history stalks, though dead; the crimes alone
Survive, of all that past; murderer and victim
Puppet-like act their play; are else unknown.

I am the Prince whose reigh these dreams usurp,
And heir to all the horrors of this house.
What shall I do? Repair? Or pull down all,
To make some innocent mound where goats may browse?

Alas, I do nothing; sweat, while night turns day
As black guilt turns remorse; as fear, despair;
And shake to hear, O monstrous, O worst of all,
The shapeless Future shambling up the stair.

From: Olson, Elder, Collected Poems, 1963, The Univeristy of Chicago Press: Chicago and London, p. 79.

Date: 1954

By: Elder James Olson (1909-1992)

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