Opus 1888

Phillip A. Ellis

Beauty is silent: birds
   when tongueless and dumb, won
over to stillness from words,

know, songs have been sung
   and done, and beauty remains
alone. Days may be dun

and days may be wastes of pain
   and despair. Silence is fair
and free of sin's stain,

since in silence lives repair,
   since in silence time's no more,
and in silence wives are fair;

since in silence hearts adore
   mysteries manifest. Come:
still tongue and be sure--

noise, discord's tongue
   that bays within its bell,
opposes wisely dumb

with witless, cacophonous Hell,
   opposes beauty pure
with restless voices that swell

tumultuous. Upon that shore
   of silence holy break
wave idolatrous, impure

to bid dreamer awake
   out of solacing dream--
oneiromantic shape--

silence's reverie. Deem
   this discord nothing of accord
and know, upwards, the stream

of wisdom will cleanse, its chord
   breathless and airless, a reverie
of meanings no word has stored,

its heart a silent mystery.

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