You that, like a dagger’s thrust,
Have entered my complaining heart,
You that, stronger than a host
Of demons, came, wild yet prepared;
Within my mind’s humility
You made your bed and your domain;
– Infamous one who’s bound to me
Like any felon by his chain,
Like a gambler by his games,
Like the bottle and the sot,
Like the worms in one’s remains,
– Damm you! Damnation be your lot!
I’ve begged the merciful, swift sword
To overcome my liberty –
To poison I have said the word:
Save me from poltroonery.
Alas the sword! Alas the poison!
Contemptuous, they spoke to m:
“You never can deserve remission
Of your accursed slavery,
“Imbecile! – If our deadly empire
Freed you from your present fate,
Your kiss would soon resuscitate
The cold cadaver of your vampire!”