It’s been a long and tiring trek,
My blistered feet are weary.
The knapsack chafes my sunburnt neck,
My eyes are dark and bleary.
I pause upon the dark hill’s brow,
And view the town below it.
I feel elated but somehow
I manage not to show it.
Down the road to journey’s end,
My aching feet transport me,
With just this walking stick, this friend,
To bolster and support me.
But suddenly I hear a noise,
The sound of someone running.
My face goes pale, I lose my poise,
The steady pace is stunning.
Alone now on this lonely road,
Alone and quite defenceless,
And heavy, heavy seems my load –
Was this whole journey senseless?
I stumble on and glance behind
As shadows merge and thicken.
Can it be only in my mind,
Those footsteps seem to quicken?
He was not there when last I looked,
The road was quite deserted,
As though he were from mid-air plucked,
And in my life inserted.
From where has this dark spirit come
To hasten my perdition?
Wherefore should I be marked by some
Is this I ask, to be my fate,
Despite my fierce resistance?
Caught before the garden gate,
My home in striking distance?
These monsters foul and vile contrive
To bar this pilgrim’s progress,
Yet with my faith I will survive
This ogre or this ogress.
Oh Lord, please light my darkened way,
And banish those who dog me.
Grasp those sturdy sticks, I pray,
With which they try to flog me.
Guard my back with thy great shield,
And smite this new attacker,
Stand by me firm and do not yield,
Although the sky grows blacker
Walk beside me in this hour
Of deep and darkest danger.
Protect me with thy soothing power
From this pursuing stranger.
Oh cleave his tongue and bind his feet
Send demons to torment him,
And in thy righteousness defeat
The Devil that hath sent him.