Silence

There is a silence where hath been no sound,
There is a silence where no sound may be,
In the cold grave–under the deep, deep, sea,
Or in wide desert where no life is found,
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;
No voice is hushed–no life treads silently,
But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,
That never spoke, over the idle ground:
But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
Though the dun fox, or wild hyena, calls,
And owls, that flit continually between,
Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan,
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.

by Thomas Hood (1799-1845).

 

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