The Dark Yips of Captain Louise

Captain Renfro Louise
Kept the black dog* off his shoulder,
During the gloom of cold-shortened days
With a few pegs of afternoon grog
At the Moaning Raven Tavern...
Wet and slick and dully lit
Like the midnight barracks 
Of sotted marines...
The last place one should be, 
When fighting the dark yips.
But Cap'n Ren had faith
That the next peg, always the next one,
Would put a stake
Through the heart of the black dog...
A pursuit of notable persistence,
And predictable failure,
But one he swore to keep at,
Until nirvana's light shown
At the end of the tunnel.

*Samuel Johnson, and later, Winston Churchill were credited 
 with naming their depressions, "the black dog."