Classic and Contemporary Poetry
SILENCE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Thousands and thousands of
Last Line: And came tiptoeing toward me down the sky.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Chaos; Night; Silence; Bedtime
THOUSANDS and thousands of hushed years ago,
Out on the edge of Chaos, all alone
I stood on peaks of vapor, high upthrown
Above a sea that knew nor ebb nor flow,
Nor any motion won of winds that blow,
Nor any sound of watery wail or moan,
Nor lisp of wave, nor wandering undertone
Of any tide lost in the night below.
So still it was, I mind me, as I laid
My thirsty ear against mine own faint sigh
To drink of that, I sipped it, half afraid
'Twas but the ghost of a dead voice spilled by
The one starved star that tottered through the shade
And came tiptoeing toward me down the sky.
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