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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Silent

By Jones Very (1813–1880)

[From Poems, with a Memoir by William P. Andrews. 1883.]

THERE is a sighing in the wood,

A murmur in the beating wave,

The heart has never understood

To tell in words the thoughts they gave.

Yet oft it feels an answering tone,

When wandering on the lonely shore;

And could the lips its voice make known,

’Twould sound as does the ocean’s roar.

And oft beneath the windswept pine

Some chord is struck the strain to swell;

Nor sounds nor language can define,—

’Tis not for words or sounds to tell.

’Tis all unheard, that Silent Voice,

Whose goings forth, unknown to all,

Bids bending reed and bird rejoice,

And fills with music Nature’s hall.

And in the speechless human heart

It speaks, where’er man’s feet have trod;

Beyond the lip’s deceitful art,

To tell of Him, the Unseen God.