Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Silences
 
Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy (1844–81)
 
 
’T IS a world of silences. I gave a cry
  In the first sorrow my heart could not withstand;
I saw men pause, and listen, and look sad,
As though no answer in their hearts they had;
  Some turn’d away, some came and took my hand,        5
For all reply.
 
I stood beside a grave. Years had pass’d by;
  Sick with unanswer’d life I turn’d to death,
And whisper’d all my question to the grave,
And watch’d the flowers desolately wave,        10
  And grass stir on it with a fitful breath,
For all reply.
 
I rais’d my eyes to heaven; my prayer went high
  Into the luminous mystery of the blue;
My thought of God was purer than a flame,        15
And God it seem’d a little nearer came,
  Then pass’d; and greater still the silence grew,
For all reply.
 
But you! If I can speak before I die,
  I spoke to you with all my soul, and when        20
I look at you ’t is still my soul you see.
Oh, in your heart was there no word for me?
  All would have answer’d had you answer’d then
With even a sigh.
 

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