okoye charles

(12th Febuary,1988 / Onitsha)

The Lost Child


Wandering around the forbidden land
Around the shadows and the shade
Through bushy path and stony steps
Broken steps and meandering strides
There the human child strays alone
Weary, aweary, and very far from home.
Soon takes the sun its shadows home
And the earth in melancholy be known.
The trees shed tears of fallen leaves on my way
And upon one, surely I hear the rustling say
'Little child, little child, the night cometh,
And soon sings the moon her sonnet
Her dirge, her epitaph from the hill.
Break a tear, O! I wish mine will;
Lest I feel human, lest I cry and feel.'

Softly singing is the birds of the vale
Slowly singing is the Nightingale
Upon giant trees of the forest
Where craft the wasps and the hornet
The hibiscus' petals litter the way
Shedding their redness at the close of day
The streams rush to the river's embrace
Through bushes, through the hills with grace.
The evening song I hear along my way
A sorrowful echo, surely I hear it say,
'Little child, little child, the night cometh,
And soon sings the moon her sonnet
Her dirge, her epitaph from the hill.
Break a tear, O! I wish mine will;
Lest I feel human, lest I cry and feel.'

When darkness creeps, and light wanes
And ancestral spirits possess the plains
Then appear the stars sullen in the sky
Then fall the dews, alas! The heavens cry
Softly, softly upon the lost child
Upon green grasses in the wild
Then gathers the grasshopper its lazy bands
Sowing its green upon the lands
The wind whispers while walking my way
Before the river and the hill, it stopped and say,
'Little child, little child, the night cometh,
And soon sings the moon her sonnet
Her dirge, her epitaph from the hill.
Break a tear, O! I wish mine will;
Lest I feel human, lest I cry and feel.'

'Who can fully drink and not stay sober,
The countless tears that slowly hover;
Dropping from my eyes, ' says the child
'The midnight walkers that linger in the wild,
Slowly, slowly, around palm trees and the deep.
Haunting the soul, who here will sleep.
The shadows rise when the sun rays go
And here alone, I shiver to know;
Surely, surely, the night cometh.
And soon sings the moon her sonnet;
Her dirge, her epitaph from the hill.
Break a tear, O! I know mine will
For you are human, for you cry and feel.'

Submitted: Friday, February 08, 2013
Edited: Thursday, April 11, 2013

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