James Monroe Whitfield

James Monroe Whitfield
The Misanthropist
In vain thou bid’st me strike the lyre,
And sing a song of mirth and glee,
Or, kindling with poetic fire,
Attempt some higher minstrelsy;
In vain, in vain! for every thought
That issues from this throbbing brain,
Is from its first conception fraught
With gloom and darkness, woe and pain.
From earliest youth my path has been
Cast in life’s darkest, deepest shade,
Where no bright ray did intervene,
Nor e’er a passing sunbeam strayed;
But all was dark and cheerless night,
Without one ray of hopeful light.
From childhood, then, through many a shock,
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