Cordula's Web. Flickr. Cave of the Winds, near Colorado Springs.
Flickr. Cave of the Winds, near Colorado Springs. ChrisL_AK. Gallery 41

Speech and Silence

Constance Naden

When some sweet voice flows forth in foreign speech,
The soul shines through the words, and makes them clear,
And all we see interprets all we hear,
For smiles and frowns have wondrous power to teach:

And voiceless grief our inmost heart can reach,
With calm, deep gaze, too sad for hope or fear:
Our eyes are wet for those who shed no tear,
And lips that Death has silenced, yet may preach.

In stillness we must win our deepest lore,
Or 'mid the speechless chant of earth and sea:
Truth is a spirit, bodiless and free;
Imaged in words, 'tis perfect truth no more,

For all our lofty visions fade and flee,
And song begins, when ecstasy is o'er.

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