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Poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes
WE count the broken lyres that rest Where the sweet wailing singers slumber, But o'er their silent sister's breast The wild-flowers who will stoop to number? A few can touch the magic string, And noisy Fame is proud to win them:-- Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them! Nay, grieve not for the dead alone Whose song has told their hearts' sad story,-- Weep for the voiceless, who have known The cross without the crown of glory! Not where Leucadian breezes sweep O'er Sappho's memory-haunted billow, But where the glistening night-dews weep On nameless sorrow's churchyard pillow. O hearts that break and give no sign Save whitening lip and fading tresses, Till Death pours out his longed-for wine Slow-dropped from Misery's crushing presses,-- If singing breath or echoing chord To every hidden pang were given, What endless melodies were poured, As sad as earth, as sweet as heaven!
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Oliver Wendell Holmes's other poems:
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