Close cleaving unto Silence, into sound
She ventures as a timorous child from land,
Still glancing, at each wary step, around,
Lest suddenly she lose her sister’s hand.
Stilling the Tempest
’Twas all she could—The gift that Nature gave,
The torrent of her tresses—did she spill
Before His feet: and lo, the troubled wave
Of passion heard His whisper, “Peace, be still!”
Why should I stay? Nor seed nor fruit have I.
But, sprung at once to beauty’s perfect round,
Nor loss, nor gain, nor change in me is found—
A life-complete in death-complete to die.
What art thou, balmy sleep?
“Foam from the fragrant deep
Of silence, hither blown
From the hushed waves of tone.”
A sea wherein the rivers of all sound
Their streams incessant pour,
But whence no tide returning e’er hath found
An echo on the shore.
For a recitation, click the play button:
“Whisper”: Poems, p. 143; Poetry, p. 361. September 1893.
“Stilling the Tempest”: Lyrics, p. 136; Poetry, p. 362. April 1895. The poem skillfully amalgamates the Gospel stories of the sinful woman washing the Lord’s feet with her hair, Luke 7:36-50, and of the Lord Jesus calming the waves, Mark 4:35-41.
“The Bubble”: Poems, p. 129; Poetry, p. 358. October 1891.
“Sleep”: Poems, p. 138; Poetry, p. 360. September 1892.
“Silence”: Lyrics, p. 150, Poetry, p. 364. August 1894.