Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
761. Silence
By John Lancaster Spalding
INAUDIBLE move day and night,
  And noiseless grows the flower;
Silent are pulsing wings of light,
  And voiceless fleets the hour.
The moon utters no word when she        5
  Walks through the heavens bare;
The stars forever silent flee,
  And songless gleam through air.
The deepest love is voiceless too;
  Heart sorrow makes no moan:        10
How still the zephyrs when they woo!
  How calm the rose full blown!
The bird winging the evening sky
  Flies onward without song;
The crowding years as they pass by        15
  Flow on in mutest throng.
The fishes glide through liquid deep
  And never speak a word;
The angels round about us sweep,
  And yet no voice is heard.        20
The highest thoughts no utterance find,
  The holiest hope is dumb,
In silence grows the immortal mind,
  And speechless deep joys come.
Rapt adoration has no tongue,        25
  No words has holiest prayer;
The loftiest mountain peaks among
  Is stillness everywhere.
With sweetest music silence blends,
  And silent praise is best;        30
In silence life begins and ends:
  God cannot be expressed.


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