Dora Sigerson Shorter

(1866-1918 / Ireland)

The Cry Eternal - Poem by Dora Sigerson Shorter

Last eve and through the night I heard a cry
Go forth across the fields, and still to-day
I hear it echo, and the fierce reply
Of some poor stricken heart too far away.
Beside my gate a little calf, bereft
Of those maternal cares that were his right,
Calls for the milky comfort he has left,
And learns his first hard lesson through the night.
And from afar the answering cries repeat
His grief forlorn, his longing, and his woe—
Poor mother mourning, in her green retreat,
Her helpless young lost in the vale below.
And I had come unto the quiet ways
Of pleasant fields, of woods so cool and deep,
To lose those cries that from the city's maze
Wearied my hours and broke my troubled sleep.

To hear this lone and this most stricken call
Of all earth's prayers that pierce the eternal height
And by the closéd doors of Heaven fall—
What woman's heart can bear it through the night?

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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