Boy in Prayer


Can this be he, whose morning footstep trod
O’er the green earth as in a regal home?
Whose voice rang out beneath the skyey dome
Like the high utterance of a youthful god?

Now with wan looks and eyes that seek the sod,
Restless and purposeless as ocean foam,
Across the twilight fields I see him roam
With shoulders bowed, as shrinking from the rod.

Oh lift the old-time light within thine eyes!
Set free the pristine passion from thy tongue!
Strength grows with burdens; make an end of sighs.

Let thy thoughts soar again their mates among,
And as yon oriole’s eager matins rise,
Abroad once more be thy strong anthem flung!

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Afternoon Landscape: Poems and Translations, (Medford, MA: Perseus Digital Library), 15.

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