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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Edmund Clarence Stedman (1833–1908)

Helen Keller

MUTE, sightless visitant,

From what uncharted world

Hast voyaged into Life’s rude sea,

With guidance scant;

As if some bark mysteriously

Should hither glide, with spars aslant

And sails all furled?

In what perpetual dawn,

Child of the spotless brow,

Hast kept thy spirit far withdrawn—

Thy birthright undefiled?

What views to thy sealed eyes appear?

What voices mayst thou hear

Speak as we know not how?

Of grief and sin hast thou,

O radiant child,

Even thou, a share? Can mortal taint

Have power on thee unfearing

The woes our sight, our hearing,

Learn from Earth’s crime and plaint?

Not as we see

Earth, sky, insensate forms, ourselves,

Thou seest, but vision-free

Thy fancy soars and delves,

Albeit no sounds to us relate

The wondrous things

Thy brave imaginings

Within their starry night create.

Pity thy unconfined

Clear spirit, whose enfranchised eyes

Use not their grosser sense?

Ah, no! thy bright intelligence

Hath its own Paradise,

A realm wherein to hear and see

Things hidden from our kind,

Not thou, not thou—’tis we

Are deaf, are dumb, are blind.