To a Silent Girl

Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant 1864 (Bridgwater, Somerset) – 1902 (Pretoria)



When the sklll'd fashioner of female faces
  Designed your mask, he wrought with cunning fist,
  And made a mouth expressly to be kiss'd -
Not for shrill utterance nor pert grimaces.

The curved, ripe lips-above the rounded chin -
  He dyed the hue of summer's reddest rose,
  Then placed a smile upon them to disclose
A glimpse of white and even pearls within.

Those lips are silent, sweetheart! - but your eyes
  Are eloquent, and they love's lesson teach
  Better than other woman's aptest speech -
In their soft light the tend'rest language lies.

In womankind - the world has long confess'd -
A silent mouth and speaking eyes are best.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 27, 2023

36 sec read
120

Quick analysis:

Scheme XAAX BCCB DEED FF
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 633
Words 113
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 2

Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant

Harry "Breaker" Harbord Morant (born Edwin Henry Murrant, 9 December 1864 – 27 February 1902) was an Anglo-Australian drover, horseman, bush poet and military officer, who was convicted and executed for murder during the Second Anglo-Boer War. While serving with the Bushveldt Carbineers during the Second Anglo-Boer War, Lieutenant Morant was arrested and court-martialed for war crimes—one of the first such prosecutions in British military history. According to military prosecutors, Morant retaliated for the death in combat of his commanding officer with a series of revenge killings against both Boer POWs and many civilian residents of the Northern Transvaal. more…

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