Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1008. The Skilful Listener
 
By John Vance Cheney
 
 
THE SKILFUL listener, he, methinks, may hear
The grass blades clash in sunny field together,
The roses kissing, and the lily, whether
It joy or sorrow in the summer’s ear,
The jewel dew-bells of the mead ring clear        5
When morning lightly moves them in June weather,
The flocked hours flitting by on stealthy feather,
The last leaves’ wail at waning of the year.
Haply, from these we catch a passing sound,
(The best of verities, perchance, but seem)        10
We overhear close Nature, on her round,
When least she thinks it; bird and bough and stream
Not only, but her silences profound,
Surprised by softer footfall of our dream.
 

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