The Orphan's Invocation

Dublin Core


The Orphan's Invocation


My sorrow is no dream—the earth has none

Whose bosom-chords are quivering for me;

If the unending universe bears one,

My mother—oh! my mother!—it is thee.

And since the dark grave veiled thee from my sight,

I have endured the loneliness of years;

Then let me gaze on thee this restless night—

Come, I invoke thee with a spell of tears.

I know not of thy spirit: sighs float far,

To lose themselves amid the shades of space;

Thought wanders wildly on from star to star.

But does not reach its final resting place.

Well, let Eternity's strong barriers rise,

And mock the madness of my midnight prayer;

For though love rushes to the shadowy skies,

It shall not seek to lure lost light from there

No, no—I lend a lone and listening ear,

When every song-bird's weary wings are furled:

Then speak one word—I will not ask to hear

The mournful music of the angel word,

I gaze through darkness, but 'tis not to view

The far-off glory of the spirit shore;

Bring the resistless beauty that I knew

Ere life was clouded—I will ask no more.

Ah! my mind wanders. for the grave is deep,

And they have laid thee with its lovely dead;

I tremble when teh moaning night-winds sweep

Above that place of silence and of dread,

For icy earth-dews have a fearful power—

They fall on lips and brow to leave no trace,

And not one spell that stirs this haunted hour

Can call them from oblivion's dark embrace.

Oh! then, if dearth nor Heaven will ere give back

The beauty and the spirit that have flown,

If none retrace the soul's ethereal track,

If I must bear life and the world alone,

Then let my childhood's dreamy memories wake,

And chill the brow, or agonize the brain;

I care not though my heaving heart-strings break,

For then thy lost love will be mine again.

Yet gaze on me, my mother, when day's light

Is fading from the crimson clouds of even

And when tho quivering stars of the solemn night

Light the blue lonelines of their far heaven.

And murmur to me, though I hear thee not,

When skies are dark and autumn winds are wild.

Yes, if thy early anguish is forgot,

Pity my own, and smile as thou hast smiled.




1:4, p. 1




Unattributed, “The Orphan's Invocation,” Periodical Poets, accessed February 24, 2024,


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