Although that shadow’s tread was light
And its cold presence absence massed,
A darker darkness to contrast,
A hole in the black cloak of night,
Its stealthy passing did disturb
And woke a sleeper from his dreams.  
Such plunging darkness almost gleams
And its dense nearness must perturb.  
That wraith was once a man of wrath,
One who would punish, and ordained
To fill that liking, then constrained
To follow down a gruesome path.  

Where is almighty God, and who,  
And how commands the stars to hide,
Or flips the heavens on their side,
To quench the day, and night renew?   
His presence is too great to blot
One corner of a chamber’s gloom,
And everywhere He must subsume
The crossroads and the lonely spot.  

How can defiant souls contend
With Him, or what discernment tell
Where His stern, righteous judgment fell?  
Yet His law says what will offend.  
We cannot see, but we can hear,
And knowing His decrees, I err,
And sinning willfully incur
The sentence for a mutineer.
Lying cannot refute His word
Nor pleading lighten grievous guilt,
And if He rules that I have spilt
Some of the bitter cup He poured
I’ll hold it up for Him to fill
It to the brim once more, and gulp
That potion to its dregs and pulp.  
I will surrender to His will,
But truly, the contrite can pray
For pardon, and when they confess,  
Meekness may balance sinfulness.
But if, defiantly, I say
I’m perfect, my worst secrets prove
That I’m perverse, and if I curse
The day I’m born I’m even worse,
Too bad for chiding to improve.
A wretch, I shouldn’t curse that day
And my accession to this world
Has scorched the calendar, and curled
Its page to cinders charred away.   

About this poem

Job answers.

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Submitted by DavidPlantinga on May 29, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:42 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,705
Words 342
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 12, 8, 28

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    "Dregs" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Sep. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/128348/dregs>.

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