Mary E. Rogers

PAVOR NOCTURNUS (Free At Last)

Henry Fuseli: The Nightmare
Henry Fuseli: The Nightmare
Oil on canvas, 1210 x 1473 x 89 mm
When I awaken from my dreams
In intense fear and isolation
My heart and soul screams out
Lord free me from this aberration

I fight the sleep that brings
The pavor nocturnus once again
I pray each night before I sleep
For these demons to be slain

My life I’ve given to my God
I cling to my faith to endure
In daytime my Creator is near
In nights terror he is obscure

Where are you God when I sleep
As memories invade my troubled mind
Are the nightmares too chilling for even you
So horrific even my Savior is confined

I could end my life to stop this hell
And let Beelzebub’s demons win
And as I passed to eternal hell
They would bid farewell with evil grins

This battle will be won at last
As I cross over to the other side
No demons on the streets of gold
In Beulah land I will reside

I know my God walks with me
I know he’s there even if I can’t see
I know his heart is heavy with mine
I know someday he’ll set me free

Then I will know he was there
He held my hand each step of the way
My heart and soul will sing with joy
Free at last, free at last

Author’s Note: A night terror, also known as pavor nocturnus, is a parasomnia sleep disorder characterized by extreme terror and a temporary inability to regain full consciousness. The subject wakes abruptly from slow-wave sleep, with waking usually accompanied by gasping, moaning, or screaming. It is often impossible to fully awaken the person, and after the episode the subject normally settles back to sleep without waking. A night terror can occasionally be recalled by the subject. They typically occur during non-REM sleep.

This poem was inspired by “Where Are You?” – ©Copyright April 14, 2009 by Terry D. Sutherland