Silent Is The House

Come, the wind may never again
Blow as now it blows for us;
And the stars may never again shine as now they shine;
Long before October returns,
Seas of blood will have parted us;
And you must crush the love in your heart, and I the love in mine!

by Emily Jane Brontë.

Why, jeering Echo! thus renew my pain,
And give me mine own sorrows back again?
Speak but to those who hail thee and rejoice,
Nor render grief's involuntary voice.
If to these rocks in plaintive mood I come,
In trust I came, for I believed them dumb;
And if one name I spoke in trust too free,
To Silence it was spoken—not to Thee.

by John Kenyon.

Sent To Dr. Hayes, With The Ode To Harmony

As Man's dull form inert and silent lay,
A senseless heap of unenliven'd clay,
Till bold Prometheus with ethereal flame
Rous'd into life the animated frame,
So shall my torpid verse a charm acquire
From the bright touch of thy harmonious fire;
To these mute lays the voice of Music give,
And by thy Genius bid my numbers live,
Amid thy verdant bays this flow'ret twine,
‘And make immortal, verse as mean as mine.’

by Henry James Pye.

Oh! Breathe Not His Name

Oh! breathe not his name, let it sleep in the shade,
Where cold and unhonour'd his relics are laid:
Sad, silent, and dark, be the tears that we shed,
As the night-dew that falls on the grass o'er his head.

But the night-dew that falls, though in silence it weeps,
Shall brighten with verdure the grave where he sleeps;
And the tear that we shed, though in secret it rolls,
Shall long keep his memory green in our souls.

by Thomas Moore.

The heart is hard that cannot feel
The bruising of a light appeal.

The heart is deaf that cannot hear
The splashing of a tiny tear.

The heart is dumb that cannot say
“God speed you, comrades,” night and day.

The heart is blind that cannot see
The beckoning soul of mystery.

The heart is lame that cannot rise
From clamouring earth to silent skies.

And O that heart were better dead
That truckles to the prudent head

by John Le Gay Brereton.

Song. Yes ....Though We'Ve Loved So Long

YES ....though we've loved so long, so well,
Imperious duty bids us part;
But though thy breast with anguish swell,
A pang more lasting tears my heart.

My grief is dumb,....loquacious thine,
The mournful hoard I sacred keep;
Thou seekest crowds, alone I pine;
My eyes are dry, but thine can weep.

Then, whatsoe'er thy lips have vowed,
A truer sorrow sways my soul;
For shallow streams run bright and loud,
Deep waters darkly silent roll.

by Amelia Opie.

Sweet Love Is Dead

Sweet Love is dead:
Where shall we bury him?
In a green bed,
With no stone at his head,
And no tears nor prayers to worry him.

Do you think he will sleep,
Dreamless and quiet?
Yes, if we keep
Silence, nor weep
O'er the grave where the ground-worms riot.

By his tomb let us part.
But hush! he is waking!
He hath winged a dart,
And the mock-cold heart
With the woe of want is aching.

Feign we no more
Sweet Love lies breathless.
All we forswore
Be as before;
Death may die, but Love is deathless.

by Alfred Austin.

There it lies broken, as a shard,
What breathed sweet music yesterday;
The source, all mute, has passed away
With its masked meanings still unmarred.
But melody will never cease!
Above the vast cerulean sea
Of heaven, created harmony
Rings and re-echoes its release!
So, this dumb instrument that lies
All powerless, [with spirit flown,
Beyond the veil of the Unknown
To chant its love-hymned litanies, ]
Though it may thrill us here no more
With cadenced strain, in other spheres
Will rise above the vanquished years
And breathe its music as before!

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Sweet Silence After Bells

Sweet silence after bells!
deep in the enamour'd ear
soft incantation dwells.

Filling the rapt still sphere
a liquid crystal swims,
precarious yet clear.

Those metal quiring hymns
shaped ether so succinct:
a while, or it dislimns,

the silence, wanly prinkt
with forms of lingering notes,
inhabits, close. distinct;

and night, the angel, floats
on wings of blessing spread
o'er all the gather'd cotes

where meditation, wed
with love, in gold-lit cells,
absorbs the heaven that shed
sweet silence after bells.

by Christopher John Brennan.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick. Proverbs, XIII,12

Where is the perfect Vision
The years have watched to see?
Why do the footsteps falter
That should be swift to me?
Days, days, and days of waiting,
And days that linger still
Till the heart aches to be breaking-
And night is on the Hill.

Where, while I listen, listen
Thro hours that go and come
And silence unbroken,
The Voice that yet is dumb?
The one Voice that could bring me,
Triumphant, rapturous, clear-
O God! O God! - the message
My soul is sick to hear!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

I TELL you, hopeless grief is passionless;
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
Beat upward to God's throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness,
In souls as countries, lieth silent-bare
Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death--
Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and moveless woe
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet:
If it could weep, it could arise and go.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curved point,--what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented ? Think. In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Beloved,--where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curved point,--what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented ? Think. In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Beloved,--where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

A Sleepless Night

Within the hollow silence of the night
I lay awake and listened. I could hear
Planet with punctual planet chiming clear,
And unto star star cadencing aright.
Nor these alone: cloistered from deafening sight,
All things that are, made music to my ear:
Hushed woods, dumb caves, and many a soundless mere,
With Arctic mains in rigid sleep locked tight.
But ever with this chant from shore and sea,
From singing constellation, humming thought,
And life through time's stops blowing variously,
A melancholy undertone was wrought;
And from its boundless prison-house I caught
The awful wail of lone Eternity.

by Alfred Austin.

Sonnet Xxii: When Our Two Souls Stand Up

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curvèd point,--what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented? Think. In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Belovèd,--where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Sonnet 22 - When Our Two Souls Stand Up Erect And Strong

XXII

When our two souls stand up erect and strong,
Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curved point,—what bitter wrong
Can the earth do to us, that we should not long
Be here contented? Think. In mounting higher,
The angels would press on us and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
Rather on earth, Beloved,—where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Sonnet Xliv: Press'D By The Moon

Press'd by the Moon, mute arbitress of tides,
While the loud equinox its power combines,
The sea no more its swelling surge confines,
But o'er the shrinking land sublimely rides.
The wild blast, rising from the Western cave,
Drives the huge billows from their heaving bed;
Tears from their grassy tombs the village dead,
And breaks the silent sabbath of the grave!
With shells and sea-weed mingled, on the shore
Lo! their bones whiten in the frequent wave;
But vain to them the winds and waters rave;
They hear the warring elements no more:
While I am doom'd—by life's long storm opprest,
To gaze with envy on their gloomy rest.

by Charlotte Smith.

In Black And Red

The hush of death is on the night. The corn,
That loves to whisper to the wind; the leaves,
That dance with it, are silent: one perceives
No motion mid the fields, as dry as horn.
What light is that? It cannot be the morn!
Yet in the east it seems its witchcraft weaves
A fiery rose. Look! how it grows! it heaves
And flames and tosses! 'Tis a burning barn!
And now the night is rent with shouts and shots.
Dark forms and faces hurry past. The gloom
Gallops with riders. Homes are less than straw
Before this madness: human lives, mere lots
Flung in and juggled from the cap of Doom,
Where Crime stamps yelling on the face of Law.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

I told her I loved her and begged but a word,
One dear little word, that would be
For me by all odds the most sweet ever heard,
But never a word said she!

I raged at her then, and I said she was cold;
I swore she was nothing to me;
I prayed her the cause of her silence unfold,
But never a word said she!

I covered with kisses her delicate hand,
But she only glanced down where the sea
Low murmured in ripples of love on the sand,
And never a word said she!

I cast her hand from me with rage unsuppressed,
And she turned her blue eyes up to me
And smiled as she laid her fair head on my breast;
'What need of a word?' asked she.

by Ellis Parker Butler.

Death And The Fool

Here is a tale for any man or woman:
A fool sought Death; and braved him with his bauble
Among the graves. At last he heard a hobble,
And something passed him, monstrous, super-human.
And by a tomb, that reared a broken column,
He heard it stop. And then Gargantuan laughter
Shattered the hush. Deep silence followed after,
Filled with the stir of bones, cadaverous, solemn.
Then said the fool:'Come! show thyself, old prancer!
I'll have a bout with thee. I, too, can clatter
My wand and motley. Come now! Death and Folly,
See who's the better man.' There was no answer;
Only his bauble broke; a serious matter
To the poor fool who died of melancholy.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

I'Ve A Secret To Tell Thee

I've a secret to tell thee, but hush! not here --
Oh! not where the world its vigil keeps:
I'll seek, to whisper it in thine ear,
Some shore where the Spirit of Silence sleeps;
Where Summer's wave unmurmuring dies,
Nor fay can hear the fountain's gush;
Where, if but a note her night-bird sighs,
The rose saith, chidingly, "Hush, sweet, hush!"

There, amid the deep silence of that hour,
When stars can be heard in ocean dip,
Thyself shall, under some rosy bower,
Sit mute, with thy finger on thy lip:
Like him, the boy, who born among
The flowers that on the Nile-stream blush,
Sits ever thus -- his only song
To earth and heaven, "Hush, all, hush!"

by Thomas Moore.

Dear faithful object of my tender care,
Whom but my partial eyes none fancy fair;
May I unblamed display thy social mirth,
Thy modest virtues, and domestic worth:
Thou silent, humble flatterer, yet sincere,
More swayed by love than interest or fear;
Solely to please thy most ambitious view,
As lovers fond, and more than lovers true.
Who can resist those dumb beseeching eyes,
Where genuine eloquence persuasive lies?
Those eyes, where language fails, display thy heart
Beyond the pomp of phrase and pride of art.
Thou safe companion, and almost a friend,
Whose kind attachment but with life shall end,—
Blest were mankind if many a prouder name
Could boast thy grateful truth and spotless fame!

by Anna Laetitia Barbauld.

All things are wrought of melody,
Unheard, yet full of speaking spells;
Within the rock, within the tree,
A soul of music dwells.

A mute symphonic sense that thrills
The silent frame of mortal things;
Its heart beats in the ancient hills,
In every flower sings.

To harmony all growth is set
Each seed is but a music mote,
From which each plant, each violet,
Evolves its purple note.

Compact of melody, the rose
Woos the soft wind with strain on strain
Of crimson; and the lily blows
Its white bars to the rain.

The trees are pæans; and the grass
One long green fugue beneath the sun
Song is their life; and all shall pass,
Shall cease, when song is done.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

All the heat and the glow and the hush
   of the summer afternoon;
the scent of the sweet-briar bush
   over bowing grass-blades and broom;

the birds that flit and pass;
   singing the song he knows,
the grass-hopper in the grass;
   the voice of the she-oak boughs.

Ah, and the shattered column
   crowned with the poet's wreath.
Who, who keeps silent and solemn
   his passing place beneath?

~This was a poet that loved God's breath;
   his life was a passionate quest;
he looked down deep in the wells of death,
   and now he is taking his rest.~

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

Sonnets From The Portuguese V

WHEN our two souls stand up erect and strong,
   Face to face, silent, drawing nigh and nigher,
   Until the lengthening wings break into fire
At either curving point,--what bitter wrong
Can the earth do us, that we should not long
   Be here contented? Think! In mounting higher,
   The angels would press on us, and aspire
To drop some golden orb of perfect song
Into our deep, dear silence. Let us stay
   Rather on earth, Beloved--where the unfit
Contrarious moods of men recoil away
   And isolate pure spirits, and permit
A place to stand and love in for a day,
   With darkness and the death-hour rounding it.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

The Chain I Gave: From The Turkish

The chain I gave was fair to view,
The lute I added sweet in sound;
The heart that offer'd both was true,
And ill deserved the fate it found.

These gifts were charm'd by secret spell,
Thy truth in absence to divine;
And they have done their duty well,
Alas! they could not teach the thine.

That chain was firm in every link,
But not to bear a stranger's touch;
That lute was sweet, till thou could'st think
In other hands its notes were such.

Let him who from thy neck unbound
The chain which shiver'd in his grasp,
Who saw that lute refuse to sound,
Restring the chords, renew the clasp.

When thou wert changed, they alter'd too;
The chain is broke, the music mute.
'Tis past, to them and thee adieu
False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.

by George Gordon Byron.

Avenging And Bright

Avenging and bright fall the swift sword of Erin
On him who the brave sons of Usna betray'd! --
For every fond eye he hath waken'd a tear in
A drop from his heart-wounds shall weep o'er her blade.

By the red cloud that hung over Conor's dark dwelling,
When Ulad's three champions lay sleeping in gore --
By the billows of war, which so often, high swelling,,
Have wafted these heroes to victory's shore --

We swear to avenge them! -- no joy shall be tasted,
The harp shall be silent, the maiden unwed,
Our halls shall be mute, and our fields shall lie wasted,
Till vengeance is wreak'd on the murderer's head.

Yes, monarch! though sweet are our home recollections,
Though sweet are the tears that from tenderness fall;
Though sweet are our friendships, our hopes, our affections,
Revenge on a tyrant is sweetest of all!

by Thomas Moore.

The Ruined Chapel

By the shore, a plot of ground
Clips a ruined chapel round,
Buttressed with a grassy mound;
Where Day and Night and Day go by
And bring no touch of human sound.

Washing of the lonely seas,
Shaking of the guardian trees,
Piping of the salted breeze;
Day and Night and Day go by
To the endless tune of these.

Or when, as winds and waters keep
A hush more dead than any sleep,
Still morns to stiller evenings creep,
And Day and Night and Day go by;
Here the silence is most deep.

The empty ruins, lapsed again
Into Nature's wide domain,
Sow themselves with seed and grain
As Day and Night and Day go by;
And hoard June's sun and April's rain.

Here fresh funeral tears were shed;
Now the graves are also dead;
And suckers from the ash-tree spread,
While Day and Night and Day go by;
And stars move calmly overhead.

by William Allingham.

There Is An Hour, A Pensive Hour

THERE is an hour, a pensive hour;
(And oh! how dear its soothing pow'r!)
It is, when twilight spreads her veil,
And steals along the silent dale;
'Tis when the fading blossoms close,
When all is silence and repose;
Then memory wakes, and loves to mourn,
For days—that never shall return!

There is a strain, a plaintive strain,
The source of joy and yet of pain;
It is the song, whose dying measure,
Some friend belov'd has heard with pleasure;
Some friend—who ne'er again may hear,
The melting lay, to memory dear;
Ah! then, her magic spells restore,
Visions of blissful days no more!

There is a tear of sweet relief,
A tear—of rapture and of grief;
The feeling heart alone can know
What soft emotions bid it flow!
It is when memory charms the mind,
With tender images refin'd;
'Tis when her balmy spells restore,
Departed friends, and joys no more!

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

It is something in this darker dream demented
   to have wrestled with its pleasure and its pain:
it is something to have sinned, and have repented:
   it is something to have failed, and tried again!

It is something to have loved the brightest Beauty
   with no hope of aught but silence for your vow:
it is something to have tried to do your duty:
   it is something to be trying, trying now!

And, in the silent solemn hours,
   when your soul floats down the far faint flood of time --
to think of Earth's lovers who are ours,
   of her saviours saving, suffering, sublime:

And that you with THESE may be her lover,
   with THESE may save and suffer for her sake --
IT IS JOY TO HAVE LIVED, SO TO DISCOVER
   YOU'VE A LIFE YOU CAN GIVE AND SHE CAN TAKE!

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

Alone In Crowds To Wander On

Alone in crowds to wander on,
And feel that all the charm is gone
Which voices dear and eyes beloved
Shed round us once, where'er we roved --
This, this the doom must be
Of all who've loved, and loved to see
The few bright things they thought would stay
For ever near them, die away.

Though fairer forms around us throng,
Their smiles to others all belong,
And want that charm which dwells alone
Round those the fond heart calls its own,
Where, where the sunny brow?
The long-known voice -- where are they now?
Thus ask I still, nor ask in vain,
The silence answers all too plain.

Oh, what is Fancy's magic worth,
If all her art cannot call forth
One bliss like those we felt of old
From lips now mute, and eyes now cold?
No, no -- her spell in vain --
As soon could she bring back again
Those eyes themselves from out the grave,
As wake again one bliss they gave.

by Thomas Moore.

On A Picture Of Harvey Birch

I know not if thy noble worth
My country's annals claim,
For in her brief, bright history
I have not read thy name.

I know not if thou e'er didst live;
Save in the vivid thought
Of him who chronicled thy life
With silent suffering fraught.

Yet, in thy history I see
Full many a great soul's lot;
Who joins that martyr-army's ranks,
That the world knoweth not; —

Who cannot weep 'melodious tears,'
For fame or sympathy;
But who, in silence, bear their doom
To suffer and to die; —

For whom no poet's harp is struck,
No laurel wreath is twined;
Who pass unheard — unknown, away,
And leave no trace behind; —

Who, but for their unwavering trust
In Justice, Truth, and God,
Would faint upon their weary way,
And perish by the road.

Truth, Justice, God! Oh mighty faith,
To bear us up unharmed;
The gates of Hell may not prevail
Against a soul so armed.

by Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta.

Edward Rowland Sill

Bay and cypress bring we here
For a poet on his bier.

Laurel for the songs he sung,
Cypress for the harp unstrung’
Ere life’s deepest deep was stirred,
And the fullest chord was heard.

All to soon the music dumb,
All to soon the Silence come.

Yet among the crowned throng
In the realms of deathless song,
Through her late born minstrelsies,
Rings no truer tone than his.

In the land he loved so well
Green his memory will dwell
As the spring-sown leafage spread
O’er the hills he used to tread,
Watching, through the Golden Gate,
Golden sunsets lingering late.

Leave the world his name and fame, -
Ours is yet a dearer claim.

Leave the world the Poet’s art, -
Ours the soul’s diviner part:
All its treasures manifold,
All the Man’s unsullied gold,
We who knew him first and best,
Last will hold, and tenderest.

Bay and cypress leave we here,
Poet, -friend, -upon thy bier.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

Silence And Stealth Of Days

Silence, and stealth of days! 'tis now
Since thou art gone,
Twelve hundred hours, and not a brow
But clouds hang on.
As he that in some cave's thick damp
Lockt from the light,
Fixeth a solitary lamp,
To brave the night,
And walking from his sun, when past
That glim'ring ray
Cuts through the heavy mists in haste
Back to his day,
So o'r fled minutes I retreat
Unto that hour
Which show'd thee last, but did defeat
Thy light, and power,
I search, and rack my soul to see
Those beams again,
But nothing but the snuff to me
Appeareth plain;
That dark and dead sleeps in its known
And common urn,
But those fled to their Maker's throne
There shine and burn;
O could I track them! but souls must
Track one the other,
And now the spirit, not the dust,
Must be thy brother.
Yet I have one Pearl by whose light
All things I see,
And in the heart of earth and night
Find heaven and thee.

by Henry Vaughan.

To A Silent Poet

I see the sons of Genius rise
The nobles of our land;
And foremost in the gathering ranks
I see the poet band.

That Priesthood of the beautiful,
To whom alone 'tis given
To lift our spirits from the dust,
Back to their native heaven.

But there is one amid the throng,
Not past his manhood's prime;
The laurel wreath upon his brow,
Has greener grown with time.

And in his eye yet glows the light
Of the celestial fire;
But cast beside him, on the earth,
Is his neglected lyre.

The lyre, whose high, heroic notes
A thousand hearts have stirred,
Lies mute, - the skillful hand no more
Awakes one slumbering chord.

Oh poet! rouse thee from thy dreams!
Wake from thy voiceless slumbers!
And once again give to the breeze
The music of thy numbers.

Sing, for our country claims her bard,
She listens for thy strains;
Sing, for upon our jarring earth,
Too much of discord reigns.

by Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta.

The summer-rose is dead;
The sad leaves, witherd,
Strew ankle-deep the pathways to our tread.
Dry grasses mat the plain,
And drifts of blossoms slain;
And day and night the wind is like a pain.

No nightingale to sing
In green boughs, listening,
Through balmy twilight hushes of the spring.
No thrush, no oriole
In music to out-roll
The little golden raptures of his soul.

O royal summer-reign!
When will you come again,
Bringing the happy birds across the main?
O blossoms! when renew
Your pretty garbs, and woo
Your waiting, wild-bee lovers back to you?

For lo, my heart is numb;
For lo, my heart is dumb—
Is silent till the birds and blossoms come!
A flower, that lieth cold
Under the wintry mold,
Waiting the warm spring-breathing to unfold.

O swallow! All too slow
Over the waves you go,
Dipping your light wings in their sparkling flow.
Over the Golden sea,
O swallow! flying free,
Fly swiftly with the summer back to me.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

In Time Of Falling Leaves

The summer rose is dead;
The sad leaves, withered,
Strew ankle-deep the pathways to our tread:
Dry grasses mat the plain,
And drifts of blossom slain;
And day and night the wind is like a pain.

No nightingale to sing
In green boughs listening,
Through balmy twilight hushes of the spring:
No thrush, no oriole
In music to out-roll
The little golden raptures of his soul.

O royal summer-reign!
When will you come again,
Bringing the happy birds across the main?
O blossoms! when renew
Your pretty garbs, and woo
Your waiting, wild bee lovers back to you?

For lo, my heart is numb;
For lo, my heart is dumb,
Is silent till the birds and the blossoms come!
A flower, that lieth cold
Under the wintry mold,
Waiting the warm spring-breathing to unfold.

O swallow! all too slow
Over the waves you go,
Dipping your light wings in their sparkling flow.
Over the golden sea,
O swallow, flying free,
Fly swiftly with the summer back to me!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

Youth that is sweetest lies chill, lies still in death:
Close and clear eyelids upon the tender eyes;
And hush the pleadings on murmur answereth,
And still the kisses that wake no warm replies.

White-limbed he lieth, dead youth-so strong, so fair:
And O, for the slumber that woke to happy days!
And O, the moonlights-O, golden dreams that were!
And O, the glory of live’s long, pleasant ways!

Fair were the faces his eyes have looked upon;
But these are haggard, and wan, and very sad, \.
Sweet the love-laughters, and red lips he won;
But here is silence of lips no longer glad.

So, part the branches, where light falls long between,
And plait the grasses about his feet and head;
Here his loved summer shall wear her softest green,
And winds just ruffle the fringes of his bed.

His were the roses washed sweeter in the dew,
And his the rapture life knoweth not again;
But ours the tempest, the skies no longer blue,
For tender sunlight, and tender, falling rain.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

In The Grand Canon

The strongholds these of those strange, mighty gods
Who walked the earth before man’s feeble race,
And, passing hence to their unknown abodes
In further worlds, left here there awful trace.
Turrets, and battlements, and toppling towers.
That spurn the torrent foaming at their base,
And pierce the clouds, uplifting into space.
No sound is here, save where the river pours
Its ice-born flood, or when the tempests sweep
In rush of battle, and lightnings leap
In thunder to the cliffs; no wing outspread
Above these walls, lone and untenanted
By man or beast, -but where the eagle soars
Above the crags, - and by the gates they guard,
Huge, and as motionless, on either hand,
The rock-hewn sentinels in silence stand,
Through the long centuries keeping watch and ward.
Up from the sheer abysses that we tread,
Wherein pale shadow holds her mystic sway,
And night yields never wholly to the day,
To where, in narrowing light far overhead,
Arch capping arch and peak to peak is wed,
We gaze, and veil our eyes in silent awe,
As when Jehovah’s form the prophet saw.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

Silent is the house: all are laid asleep:
One alone looks out o’er the snow-wreaths deep,
Watching every cloud, dreading every breeze
That whirls the wildering drift, and bends the groaning trees.

Cheerful is the hearth, soft the matted floor;
Not one shivering gust creeps through pane or door;
The little lamp burns straight, its rays shoot strong and far:
I trim it well, to be the wanderer’s guiding-star.

Frown, my haughty sire! chide, my angry dame!
Set your slaves to spy; threaten me with shame:
But neither sire nor dame nor prying serf shall know,
What angel nightly tracks that waste of frozen snow.

What I love shall come like visitant of air,
Safe in secret power from lurking human snare;
What loves me, no word of mine shall e’er betray,
Though for faith unstained my life must forfeit pay.

Burn, then, little lamp; glimmer straight and clear—
Hush! a rustling wing stirs, methinks, the air:
He for whom I wait, thus ever comes to me;
Strange Power! I trust thy might; trust thou my constancy.

by Emily Jane Brontë.

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