Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XVII. Bereavement
By Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)
WHEN some belovèd voice that was to you
Both sound and sweetness, faileth suddenly,
And silence, against which you dare not cry,
Aches round you like a strong disease and new—
What hope? what help? what music will undo        5
That silence to your sense? Not friendship’s sigh.
Not reason’s subtle count. Not melody
Of viols, nor of pipes that Faunus blew.
Not songs of poets, nor of nightingales,
Whose hearts leap upward through the cypress trees        10
To the clear moon! nor yet the spheric laws
Self-chanted,—nor the angels’ sweet All hails,
Met in the smile of God. Nay, none of these.
Speak THOU, availing Christ!—and fill this pause.

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