For the dverse prompt, a quote to start the poem, another to finish it.


Darkness was on the face of the deep

For such a time, for such a time,

Till sun arose to light the waves,

Where fishes leapt and seagulls dived,

And then we came to lead the beasts

On righteous paths and servile ways.

We hacked and hewed and dug and delved,

The earth we spoiled, the beasts we used,

Until we come to see the fault

Of all that time, that terrible time,

When men with voices loud and fierce

And nightmare weapons loud and fierce

Had all their way with never a voice

Raised in defence of earth or beast.

We see the fault, the melting ice,

The rising seas, the drought so dry,

Too late to know the reason whyโ€”

The fireโ€™s dead, cold Hell is empty

And all the devils now are here.


The two quotes: ‘And darkness was on the face of the deep’ from Genesis 1:2

and ‘Hell is empty and all the devils are here.’ from The Tempest Act One Scene Two.



Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

50 thoughts on “Darkness”

  1. I love that you chose a quote from The Tempest, one of my favourite plays by Shakespeare. I also love how your poem starts and ends with darkness – full circle.
    A prophetic poem, Jane, and these lines are a powerful reminder:
    ‘Of all that time, that terrible time,
    When men with voices loud and fierce
    And nightmare weapons loud and fierce
    Had all their way with never a voice
    Raised in defence of earth or beast’.

    1. Thanks Kim. This was a difficult one, I mean how do you choose two quotes out of all the billions of phrases ever written? I just picked two that I like and joined them together ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. So interesting that Billy Shakespeare can bridge to all our timely tempests, “the more things. change…” well yeah,, it sorta does make it feel a wee bit inexorable I admit. I guess we just need to try to keep doing our best, try to stand up to the bullcrap as best we can. I like this, thank you. I feel an honest pessimist can engender, ironically… hope. Keep a pitchin!

      1. The light is there, and at an individual level we can do our bit but ultimately it’s those in power who make the crucial decisions and for those people the future of the planet and humanity comes along way behind making money.

  3. I love that even with others’ words, this is such a Jane poem. (I mean that as a compliment.) ๐Ÿ™‚ Genesis and The Tempest–great choices.
    It’s pessimistic, but still beautiful.

  4. SMiLes As i Dance
    Freely Through
    Super Walmart
    By Sam Walton
    Unwittingly JusT
    For Me Key is
    Animal CoMes
    Free NoW heHe
    aT WaLM ARTS..:)

  5. Prophetic, both in the sense of predicting what is to come and bearing witness to the truth! Unfortunately, we all keep proving C.S. Lewis right: We know what’s right; we do what’s wrong.

    1. Probably because doing what’s right doesn’t always coincide with what we enjoy doing. We ought to be vegan, we ought not to use fossil fuel, fly to holiday destinations, or eat food that has to be flown half-way round the world, or buy clothes that have been made by children or slave labour…but we do.

  6. First comment: to choose these two sources is quite amazing in itself…those two choices together start at the beginning and end in the tempest. I found the sources chosen as fascinating as the poem itself…..where we travel from the beginning through the errors of our ways and the spoiling of our resources….to the devil laughing at us and our ways….our destruction. Fascinating read.

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