Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Niobe

O mother-heart! when fast the arrows flew,
   Like blinding lightning, smiting as they fell,
   One after one, one after one, what knell
Could fitly voice thy anguish! Sorrow grew 
To throes intensest, when thy sad soul knew
   Thy youngest, too, must go. Was it not well,
   Avengers wroth, just one to spare? Ay, tell
The ages of soul-struggle sterner? Through
The flinty stone, O image of despair,
   Sad Niobe, thy maddened grief did flow
In bitt’rest tears, when all thy wailing prayer
   Was so denied. Alas! what weight of woe
Is prisoned in thy melancholy eyes!
What mother-love beneath the Stoic lies!

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“Niobe” was published in Sonnets (J. J. Little, 1893).

Author


Henrietta Cordelia Ray

Henrietta Cordelia Ray was born in New York City in 1849. She published a collection of sonnets in 1893 and another collection of poetry in 1910. In 1876 Ray’s poem “Lincoln” was read at the unveiling of the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C. Ray died in 1917.

Date Published: 1893-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/niobe