Poetry of Kansas

Mater Dolorosa.

An empty nest up in the maple swings;
    An empty heart is waiting at the door;
The wrens will come, but oh, the summer brings
    To these sad arms their nestling brood no more.
    Where is my stalwart boy that trod,
        O couchant hill, thy happy sod?
   And thou, blue sky, canst thou forget
        My baby's eyes that mirrored thee?
   They seven days looked in mine, and yet
        Saw not my gaze of agony.
With me in tragic chorus all things weep;
    The waves dash faint and sobbing on the shore;
The rainy skies their days of mourning keep
    Because of death and them that are no more.
The vestal autumn wandered musing by,
    Telling her beads with tears, and woe is me!
The maniac wind raves wild: I hear it sigh
    And mutter of my great calamity.
Up, folded hands! Rouse thee, O sleeping will!
Be still, my aching heart; be still, be still!
Come with brown leaves, O sexton red-breast, come!
And cover my sweet babes that here lie dumb.
    Speak to me, pear and apple tree,
        Of April's immortality!
   Prophetic from thy funeral pyre,
        Declare, O dying western sun,
    With thy ten thousand tongues of fire,
        To-morrow's resurrection-morn!
__Nicholas Smith.

Kansas in Literature
Part 1. Poetry
Edited by W. M. Davidson
(Topeka: Crane & Co. 1900)
Page 56-57

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November 19, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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