BETA

Silence.

Weigh’d with the eloquence of Silence, Sound,1
With all its varied charms, is weak and vain ;2
If there are tones by which the heart is bound,3
Silence infuses deeper bliss or pain :4
The last, for months, my fretful breast has found ;5
The first, methinks, it ne’er will feel again.6
When youthful hands, and eyes, and feelings meet,7
In that prolong’d and soul-subduing pause,8
Silence is Converse, dangerously sweet ;9
And while the speechless Pair more deeply draws10
The breath, and hears each heart responsive beat,11
In Passion’s sunbeams Prudery’s frost-work thaws.12
The mutest signs possess a language still,13
A language framed, enervatingly strong,14
To fetter Reason, drag the manly will15
In unresisting slavery along,16
Quench Virtue’s vestal flame, and quickly fill17
Life’s cup with infamy for venial wrong.18
And oh !  the pangs of Silence—day by day19
Creeping along, with still the unanswer’d prayer !20
As gradual darkness grows on evening’s ray,21
Doubt, fear, and wonder deep’ning to despair ;22
Till, as the dawn prepares the Enlightener’s way,23
Comes Truth, more clear and chill than morning’s
air,
24
When Fancy’s idols base were lips and eyes,25
She soon found others prompt to smile and roll !26
Sick of such treacherous chase and paltry prize,27
The wearied Mind appreciates sense and soul,28
Pines with more grief than Passion’s selfish sighs,29
And drains regrets, the dregs of Sorrow’s bowl.30