Night Thoughts (O'Reilly)

Night Thoughts  (1868) 
by John Boyle O'Reilly

Provenance: Evans, Anthony G. (1997), Fanatic Heart: A Life of John Boyle O'Reilly 1844–1890, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, Western Australia. ISBN 1875560823.

For works with similar titles, see Night Thoughts.


Have I no future left me?
Is there no struggling ray
From the sun of my life outshining
Down on my darksome way?

Will there no gleam of sunshine
Cast o'er my path its light?
Willl there no star of hope rise
Out of this gloom of night?

Have I 'gainst heaven's warnings
Sinfully, madly rushed?
Else why thus were my heart strings severed?
Why was my love-light crushed?

Oh! I have hopes and yearnings—
Hopes that I know are vain
And knowledge robs life of pleasure—
And death of its only pain.


Oh! no! I would not love again
E'en had I still the power given;
I would not risk its pain and fears
E'en though its joys were taste of heaven.
A breath may blight the heart we prize;
A whisper weave deceit around it;
And then our heart's most tender chord
Is wounded by the chain that bound it.

'Tis hard to see death's chilling hand
The life-strings of our treasure sever:
But harder still when loving hearts
Are rudely rent apart for ever.
But ah! such griefs are naught to those
That fill the heart where passion burned
Till falsehood burst the mask and showed
That love by heartless scorn returned.


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.