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

William James Linton 1812–97

The Silenced Singer


THE NEST is built, the song hath ceas’d:

The minstrel joineth in the feast,

So singeth not. The poet’s verse,

Crippled by Hymen’s household curse,

Follows no more its hungry quest.

Well if Love’s feathers line the nest.

Yet blame not that beside the fire

Love hangeth up his unstrung lyre!

How sing of hope when Hope hath fled,

Joy whispering lip to lip instead?

Or how repeat the tuneful moan

When the Obdùrate ’s all my own?

Love, like the lark, while soaring sings:

Wouldst have him spread again his wings?

What careth he for higher skies

Who on the heart of harvest lies,

And finds both sun and firmament

Clos’d in the round of his content?