DIVINELY varied are the forms of speech,
Grand are the uses that to words belong,
To win, to awe, to sooth, command, or teach,
Yet “Golden Silence” claims my humble song.
The orbs of heaven in awful silence roll,
Silent the growth of herb, and flower, and tree,
Silent the workings of the secret soul;
Silent the depths beneath the raging sea.
Expressive silence! when eye meeting eye,
Relieves the trembling lip and stricken tongue:
Courageous silence, scorning to deny
Slander, when based upon a brother's wrong.
O glorious silence of sincerity,
That lends no echo to ill-gotten fame,
Silence of ruth and blessed charity
Casting its shadow over deeds of shame.
Delicious silence! when the waves of life
Ebb from the weary brain and aching sight,
When strident joy, loud grief, and harrowing strife
Are lull'd to slumber in the shades of night.
Religious silence! born of Faith and Love,
What earthly music can with thee compare!
Surely the anthems of the Saints above
Are spirit-praise and deep, unuttered prayer!