Substitution

Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806 (Kelloe) – 1861 (Florence)

WHEN some beloved voice that was to you
Both sound and sweetness, faileth suddenly,
And silence, against which you dare not cry,
Aches round you like a strong disease and new--
What hope ? what help ? what music will undo
That silence to your sense ? Not friendship's sigh,
Not reason's subtle count; not melody
Of viols, nor of pipes that Faunus blew;
Not songs of poets, nor of nightingales
Whose hearts leap upward through the cypress-trees
To the clear moon; nor yet the spheric laws
Self-chanted, nor the angels' sweet ' All hails,'
Met in the smile of God: nay, none of these.
Speak THOU, availing Christ !--and fill this pause.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era. more…

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    "Substitution" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 15 Jan. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/10387/substitution>.

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