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Songs of the Silent World And Other Poems   By: (1844-1911)

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[Frontispiece: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps]

SONGS OF THE SILENT WORLD

AND OTHER POEMS

BY

ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS

BOSTON

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY

New York: 11 East Seventeenth Street

The Riverside Press, Cambridge

1885

Copyright, 1884,

BY ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS.

All rights reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge:

Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.

Dear! Is the distance vast? I cross it here. The chasm fathomless? I span it thus. The silence dread? I break it. What is fear? When only our own hearts can sever us.

The gold and frankincense I should have given, Envy the myrrh I lay within your hand; Dearer to me than fame of earth or heaven It is, to know that you will understand.

CONTENTS.

I.

Afterward Released The Room's Width The First Christmas Apart The Angel Joy "Absent!" The Unseen Comrades Stronger than Death

II.

Vittoria New Neighbors By the Hearth Told in Confidence What the Violins Said Won Spent Parted An April Gust The Answer Thorns The Indian Girl Sealed Guinevere Sung to a Friend Incompletion Rafe's Chasm Galatea Part of the Price Eurydice Elaine and Elaine

III.

The Poet and the Poem Overtasked Stranded Gloucester Harbor The Terrible Test My Dreams are of the Sea Song An Interpretation The Sphinx Victoræ Salutamus The Ermine Unquenched The King's Image

IV.

At the Party A Jewish Legend

V.

The Songs of Seventy Years Birthday Verses A Tribute To O. W. H. Whose shall the Welcome be? Exeat George Eliot Her Jury

VI.

A Prayer. (Matins.) An Acknowledgment Hymn Answered Westward Three Friends A New Friend An Etching To my Father The Gates Between A Prayer. (Vespers.)

I.

SONGS OF THE SILENT WORLD.

AFTERWARD.

There is no vacant chair. The loving meet A group unbroken smitten, who knows how? One sitteth silent only, in his usual seat; We gave him once that freedom. Why not now?

Perhaps he is too weary, and needs rest; He needed it too often, nor could we Bestow. God gave it, knowing how to do so best. Which of us would disturb him? Let him be.

There is no vacant chair. If he will take The mood to listen mutely, be it done. By his least mood we crossed, for which the heart must ache, Plead not nor question! Let him have this one.

Death is a mood of life. It is no whim By which life's Giver mocks a broken heart. Death is life's reticence. Still audible to Him, The hushed voice, happy, speaketh on, apart.

There is no vacant chair. To love is still To have. Nearer to memory than to eye, And dearer yet to anguish than to comfort, will We hold him by our love, that shall not die.

For while it doth not, thus he cannot. Try! Who can put out the motion or the smile? The old ways of being noble all with him laid by? Because we love, he is. Then trust awhile.

RELEASED.

Oh, joy of the dying! At last thou art mine. And leaping to meet thee, Impatient to greet thee, A rapid and rapturous, sensitive, fine Gayety steals through my pulses to day, Daring and doubting like pleasure Forbidden, or Winter looking at May.

Oh, sorrow of living! Make way for the thrill Of the soul that is starting Onlooking departing Across the threshold of clay. Bend, bow to the will Of the soul that is up and away!

THE ROOM'S WIDTH.

I think if I should cross the room, Far as fear; Should stand beside you like a thought Touch you, Dear!

Like a fancy. To your sad heart It would seem That my vision passed and prayed you, Or my dream... Continue reading book >>




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