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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy 1844–81



’T IS a world of silences. I gave a cry

In the first sorrow my heart could not withstand;

I saw men pause, and listen, and look sad,

As though no answer in their hearts they had;

Some turn’d away, some came and took my hand,

For all reply.

I stood beside a grave. Years had pass’d by;

Sick with unanswer’d life I turn’d to death,

And whisper’d all my question to the grave,

And watch’d the flowers desolately wave,

And grass stir on it with a fitful breath,

For all reply.

I rais’d my eyes to heaven; my prayer went high

Into the luminous mystery of the blue;

My thought of God was purer than a flame,

And God it seem’d a little nearer came,

Then pass’d; and greater still the silence grew,

For all reply.

But you! If I can speak before I die,

I spoke to you with all my soul, and when

I look at you ’t is still my soul you see.

Oh, in your heart was there no word for me?

All would have answer’d had you answer’d then

With even a sigh.