Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WANDERER: 1. IN ITALY: SILENCE, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON



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THE WANDERER: 1. IN ITALY: SILENCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Words of fire, and words of scorn
Last Line: Guard empty chamber, moveless door.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Italy; Silence; Travel; Italians; Journeys; Trips


WORDS of fire, and words of scorn,
I have written. Let them go!
Words of love -- heart-broken, torn,
With this strong and sudden woe.
All my scorn, she could not doubt,
Was but love turned inside out.

Silence, silence, still unstirred;
Long, unbroken, unexplained:
Not one word, one little word,
Even to show her touched or pained:
Silence, silence, all unbroken:
Not a sound, a sign, a token.

Well, let silence gather round
All this shattered life of mine.
Shall I break it by a sound?
Let it grow, and be divine --
Divine as that Prometheus kept
When for his sake the sea-nymphs wept.

Let silence settle, still and deep;
As the mist, the thunder-cloud,
O'er the lonely blasted steep,
Which the red bolt hath not bowed,
Settle, to drench out the star,
And cancel the blue vales afar.

In this silence I will sheathe
The sharp edge and point of all!
Not a sigh my lips shall breathe;
Not a groan, whate'er befall.
And let this sworded silence be
A fence 'twixt prying fools and me.

Let silence be about her name,
And o'er the things which once have been:
Let silence cover up my shame,
And annul that face, once seen
In fatal hours, and all the light
Of those eyes extinguish quite.

In silence, I go forth alone
O'er the solemn mystery
Of the deeds which, to be done,
Yet undone in the future lie.
I peer in Time's high nests, and there
Espy the callow brood of Care,

The fledgeless nurslings of Regret,
With beaks forever stretched for food:
But why should I forecount as yet
The ravage of that vulture brood?
O'er all these things let silence stay,
And lie, like snow, along my way.

Let silence in this outraged heart
Abide, and seal these lips forever;
Let silence dwell with me apart
Beside the ever-babbling river
Of that loud life in towns, that runs
Blind to the changes of the suns.

Ah! from what most mournful star,
Wasting down on evening's edge,
Or what barren isle afar
Flung by on some bare ocean ledge,
Came the wicked hag to us,
That changed the fairy revel thus?

There were sounds from sweet guitars
Once, and lights from lamps of amber;
Both went up among the stars
From many a perfumed palace chamber:
Suddenly the place seemed dead;
Light and music both were fled.

Darkness in each perfumed chamber;
Darkness, silence, in the stars;
Darkness on the lamps of amber;
Silence in the sweet guitars:
Darkness, silence, evermore
Guard empty chamber, moveless door.





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