Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

Substitution - Poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

WHEN some beloved 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
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
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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Read poems about / on: silence, music, moon, smile, hope, god, angel, song, tree



Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 12, 2001



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