Eugene O'Neill

(16 October 1888 – 27 November 1953 / New York City)

Nocturne Poem by Eugene O'Neill


The sunset gun booms out in hollow roar
Night breathes upon the waters of the bay
The river lies, a symphony in grey,
Melting in shadow on the further shore.

A sullen coal barge tugs its anchor chain
A shadow sinister, with one faint light
Flickering wanly in the dim twilight,
It lies upon the harbor like a stain.

Silence. Then through the stillness rings
The fretful echo of a seagull's scream,
As if one cried who sees within a dream
Deep rooted sorrow in the heart of things.

The cry that Sorrow knows and would complain
And impotently struggle to express -
Some secret shame, some hidden bitterness -
Yet evermore must sing the same refrain.

Silence once more. The air seems in a swoon
Beneath the heavens' thousand opening eyes
While from the far horizon's edge arise
The first faint silvery tresses of the moon.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

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