Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SUBSTITUTION, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING



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SUBSTITUTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When some beloved voice that was to you
Last Line: Speak thou, availing christ! -- and fill this pause.
Subject(s): Religion; Theology


WHEN some beloved 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.





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