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Poems About Silence

Table of Contents

  1. Quiet by Madison Cawein
  2. Triad by Adelaide Crapsey
  3. A Song of the Silent Souls by Anonymous
  4. The Stillness of the Frost by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  5. Reticence by Emily Dickinson
  6. The Speech of Silence by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  7. Silent Hours by Ed Blair
  8. Silence by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  9. Spring Quiet by Christina Rossetti


Silence is golden.

– Origin Unknown
  1. Quiet

    At daybreak Morn shall come to me
    In raiment of the white winds spun;
    Slim in her rosy hand the key
    That opes the gateway of the sun.

    – Madison Cawein
    Quiet
    by Madison Cawein

    A log-hut in the solitude,
    A clapboard roof to rest beneath!
    This side, the shadow-haunted wood;
    That side, the sunlight-haunted heath.

    At daybreak Morn shall come to me
    In raiment of the white winds spun;
    Slim in her rosy hand the key
    That opes the gateway of the sun.

    Her smile shall help my heart enough
    With love to labour all the day,
    And cheer the road, whose rocks are rough,
    With her smooth footprints, each a ray.

    At dusk a voice shall call afar,
    A lone voice like the whippoorwill's;
    And, on her shimmering brow one star,
    Night shall descend the western hills.

    She at my door till dawn shall stand,
    With gothic eyes, that, dark and deep,
    Are mirrors of a mystic land,
    Fantastic with the towns of sleep.

  2. Triad

    by Adelaide Crapsey

    These be
    Three silent things:
    The falling snow…the hour
    Before the dawn…the mouth of one
    Just dead.

  3. A Song of the Silent Souls

    Others as a quiet leaven
    Wield eternal power.

    – Anonymous
    A Song of the Silent Souls
    by Anonymous

    Some can talk, sagacious, tender,
    Strong discourse and rare;
    Others fill the room with splendor
    Just by being there.

    Some can drive the world to duty
    By a brandished knife
    Others by the silent beauty
    Of a loving life

    Some are praised to highest heaven
    Through a brilliant hour;
    Others as a quiet leaven
    Wield eternal power.

    Fine are speech and valiant action
    Where the triumph rolls;
    But—the endless satisfaction
    Of the silent souls!

  4. The Stillness of the Frost

    Such, I must think, even at the dawn of Time,
    Was thy white hush, O world, when thou lay'st cold,
    Unwaked to love, new from the Maker's word,

    – Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
    The Stillness of the Frost
    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Out of the frost-white wood comes winnowing through
    No wing; no homely call or cry is heard.
    Even the hope of life seems far deferred.
    The hard hills ache beneath their spectral hue.
    A dove-grey cloud, tender as tears or dew,
    From one lone hearth exhaling, hangs unstirred,
    Like the poised ghost of some unnamed great bird
    In the ineffable pallor of the blue.

    Such, I must think, even at the dawn of Time,
    Was thy white hush, O world, when thou lay'st cold,
    Unwaked to love, new from the Maker's word,
    And the spheres, watching, stilled their high accord,
    To marvel at perfection in thy mould,
    The grace of thine austerity sublime!

  5. Reticence

    by Emily Dickinson

    The reticent volcano keeps
    His never slumbering plan;
    Confided are his projects pink
    To no precarious man.

    If nature will not tell the tale
    Jehovah told to her,
    Can human nature not survive
    Without a listener?

    Admonished by her buckled lips
    Let every babbler be.
    The only secret people keep
    Is Immortality.

  6. The Speech of Silence

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    The solemn Sea of Silence lies between us;
    I know thou livest, and thou lovest me;
    And yet I wish some white ship would come sailing
    Across the ocean, bearing word from thee.

    The dead-calm awes me with its awful stillness.
    No anxious doubts or fears disturb my breast;
    I only ask some little wave of language,
    To stir this vast infinitude of rest.

    I am oppressed with this great sense of loving;
    So much I give, so much receive from thee,
    Like subtle incense, rising from a censer,
    So floats the fragrance of thy love round me.

    All speech is poor, and written words unmeaning;
    Yet such I ask, blown hither by some wind,
    To give relief to this too perfect knowledge,
    The Silence so impresses on my mind.

    How poor the love that needeth word or message,
    To banish doubt or nourish tenderness;
    I ask them but to temper love's convictions
    The Silence all too fully doth express.

    Too deep the language which the spirit utters;
    Too vast the knowledge which my soul hath stirred.
    Send some white ship across the Sea of Silence,
    And interrupt its utterance with a word.

  7. Silent Hours

    by Ed Blair

    When I am silent let me rest alone,
    Oh! shut the door twixt me and anxious care;
    For these are hours that I wish for my own—
    The hours of rest that mend the daily wear.

    When I am silent do not come to me
    And ask with anxious look if I am well,
    I'm only striving for an hour that's free—
    In one hour of forgetfulness to dwell.

    Then let me lie beneath a forest tree,
    Or out where rolling prairies stretch away;
    Where gentle breezes whisper there to me,
    And sing their sweet rest songs the livelong day.

    For sad the soul when Nature cannot come
    Into its "deep recesses" for awhile;
    And drive away all care, and start the hum
    Of music in the heart, and leave a smile.

  8. Silence

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    O many and vain, Belovéd,
    The words I spoke to you
    In those first wondering hours
    When love was new!

    Now we have wandered together
    Into a mystic land,
    Now we are silent, Belovéd,
    Because we understand.

  9. Spring Quiet

    by Christina Rossetti

    Gone were but the Winter,
    Come were but the Spring,
    I would go to a covert
    Where the birds sing;

    Where in the white-thorn
    Singeth a thrush,
    And a robin sings
    In the holly-bush.

    Full of fresh scents
    Are the budding boughs,
    Arching high over
    A cool green house:

    Full of sweet scents,
    And whispering air
    Which sayeth softly:
    "We spread no snare;

    "Here dwell in safety,
    Here dwell alone,
    With a clear stream
    And a mossy stone.

    "Here the sun shineth
    Most shadily;
    Here is heard an echo
    Of the far sea,
    Though far off it be."

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