Home  »  Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse  »  Substitution

Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919). Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse. 1903.

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1809–1861)


WHEN some beloved voice, that was to you
Both sound and sweetness, faileth suddenly,
And silence against which you dare not cry
Aches round you like a strong disease and new—
What hope? what help? what music will undo        5
That silence to your sense? Not friendship’s sigh,
Not reason’s subtle count; not melody
Of viols, nor of pipes that Faunus blew;
Not songs of poets, nor of nightingales,
Whose hearts leap upward through the cypress trees        10
To the clear moon! nor yet the spheric laws
Self-chanted, nor the angels’ sweet All hails,
Met in the smile of God. Nay, none of these.
Speak THOU, availing Christ! and fill this pause.