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There are pauses of marvellous silence,

That are full of significant sound, Like music echoing music

Under water or under ground.

That clarion again ! through what valleys

Of deep inward life did it roll,
Ere it blew that astonishing trumpet

Right down in the caves of my soul ?

My mind is bewildered with echoes,

Not all from the sweet sounds without; But spirits are answering spirits

In a beautiful muffled shout.

Oh cease then, wild horns ! I am fainting ;

If ye wail so, my heart will break; Some one speaks to me in your speaking

In a language I cannot speak.

Though the sounds ye make are all foreign,

How native, how household they are; The tones of old homes mixed with heaven,

The dead and the angels, speak there.

Dear voices, that long have been silenced,

Come clear from their peaceable land, Come toned with unspeakable sweetness

From the Presence in which they stand.

Or is music the inarticulate

Speech of the angels on earth ? Or the voice of the Undiscovered

Bringing great truths to the birth?

O music! thou surely art worship;

But thou art not like praise or prayer; And words make better thanksgiving

Than thy sweet melodies are.

There is in thee another worship,

An outflow of something divine ; For the voice of adoring silence,

If it could be a voice, were thine.

Thou art fugitive splendours made vocal,

As they glanced from that shining sea Where the Vision is visible music,

Making music of spirits who see.

Thou, Lord, art the Father of music;

Sweet sounds are a whisper from Thee; Thou hast made thy creation all anthems,

Though it singeth them silently.

But I guess by the stir of this music

What raptures in heaven can be, Where the sound is thy marvellous stillness, And the music is light out of Thee.


I MOURN no more my vanished years :

Beneath a tender rain,
An April rain of smiles and tears,

My heart is young again.
The west-winds blow, and, singing low,

I hear the glad streams run ; The windows of my soul I throw

Wide open to the sun.

No longer forward, nor behind,

I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,

The best of now and here.

I plough no more a desert land,

To harvest weed and tare;
The manna dropping from God's hand

Rebukes my painful care.
I break my pilgrim staff,—I lay

Aside the toiling oar ;
The angel sought so far away

I welcome at my door.

The airs of spring may never play

Among the ripening corn,
Nor freshness of the flowers of May

Blow through the autumn morn ;


Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look

Through fringèd lids to heaven; And the pale aster in the brook

Shall see its image given;

The woods shall wear their robes of praise,

The south-wind softly sigh,
And sweet, calm days in golden haze

Melt down the amber sky.

Not less shall manly deed and word

Rebuke an age of wrong: The graven flowers that wreathe the sword

Make not the blade less strong.

But smiting hands shall learn to heal,

To build, as to destroy ; Nor less my heart for others feel

That I the more enjoy.

All as God wills, who wisely heeds

To give or to withhold,
And knoweth more of all my needs

Than all my prayers have told.

Enough that blessings undeserved

Have marked my erring track; That wheresoe'er my feet have swerved

His chastening turned me back;

That more and more a Providence

Of love is understood,
Making the springs of time and sense

Sweet with eternal good;

That death seems but a covered way

Which opens into light, Wherein no blinded child can stray

Beyond the Father's sight;

That care and trial seem at last,

Through memory's sunset air, Like mountain-ranges overpast,

In purple distance fair;

That all the jarring notes of life

Seem blending in a psalm, And all the angles of its strife

Slow rounding into calm.

And so the shadows fall apart

And so the west-winds play ; And all the windows of my heart I open to the day.


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