When some belovèd 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
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
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.
First published in Graham's Magazine, December 1842, revised 1844.
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text),
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Text added to the website: 2009-02-26.
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