Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PERFECT WORD, by LUCY LARCOM



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THE PERFECT WORD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How satisfying is a perfect word
Last Line: Is, and forever must be, god in man!
Subject(s): God


How satisfying is a perfect word!
How great, to know the truth, and utter it
So that it shall eternally be heard,
And worlds together in its chords be knit!
Who speaks for beauty, Beauty's self must be,
And not her language with vain lips repeat, --
Mere tinkling cymbals, hollow melody
Wearying the air with mockery most unsweet!
Out of this half-articulate earthly speech,
This broken jargon from each other caught,
This jangled medley of our songs, we reach
Toward some divine expression of our thought
Somewhere above the selfish jar and fret,
The deathly silence, deathlier noise of sin,
Mercy and truth and righteousness have met,
And souls to that vast concord enter in.
They know the Life itself, the visible Word,
The music of eternal overflow
From central ocean-streams of being, stirred
With the first rapture of creation's glow.
But men with falsehood blur what God speaks plain;
His message hourly mistranslated is.
Dear angels, heal us of our discord's pain!
Lend us the keynote of your harmonies!
Sweeter than any sound by angels heard,
Whispered or sung through their unwithering bowers,
CHRIST is the beautiful, eternal Word,
Breathed from God's heart into this world of ours.
That Word Jehovah spake, that men might see
The meaning of their being, hid in Him;
Each human birth a possibility,
That well might wake the silent seraphim.
Yet loftiest seraph-lyres can but rehearse
Suggestions faint of His unfolding plan,
Whose perfect Word unto His universe
Is, and forever must be, God in man!





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