Surely nothing more pure than thee
Slumbers in Mother Night’s embrace;
Surely to-night no fuller Moon
Resembles well thy sweet pale face,
Framed by locks fair and confidence
Of your faithful midnight prayer.
Yet, in a cave by jealous Moon,
Reside three Fates dressed all in white,
All of them daughters of black Night:
Clotho the Spinner loves to spin;
Lachesis draws what has been spun;
Atropos severs life’s frail thread
Suspended between gloom and gloom.
Whose beck and call Fates might answer
Is often hotly contended;
But rest assured, Antonia,
While in your precious innocence
Rest may so easily obtain.
For, restless in his bestained bed,
Ambrosio twists and turns with
Lust and guilt against his poor vows.
Whom conscience has torn asunder.
Lies concealed in his monkish cell;
But not from mannish Matilda,
Demonessa, urging him on,
Nor from his holy Deity,
Counseling virtuous restraint.
Hence Aye and Nay dance in tandem
Until vile incestuous rape
And foul murders are committed
And duly punished by Devil
Doing God’s will as commissioned.
Then, only then shalt thou molder
As thy mother Elvira molds
Whilst Ambrosio, cast into
The chasm of hopeless despair,
Impaled upon the hellish rocks
So far below the gaze of God,
Slowly fulfills his Agony.
Matthew Lewis (9 July 1775 – 10 May 1818) was a peculiar fellow. His behavior today might cause him to be identified as a goth.
Like Mary Shelley, Lewis made an emormous impact with his only novel, The Monk, which more-or-less defined the far edge of sensational Gothicism when it was published in 1796. He went on to write a number of plays, poems, and translations, many of which featured Gothic themes and motifs.
As a playwright Lewis was rather successful, his melodramatic flair finding an appreciate audience in the days of Romantic drama. Lewis abandoned the theater when he inherited his family’s West Indian sugar plantations