Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/The Hermit

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For other versions of this work, see The Hermit (Coates).


LISTEN! O listen! 'T is the thrush—God bless him!
How marvellously sweet the song he sings!
All Nature seems to listen and caress him,
And Silence even closer folds her wings
Lest she should miss one faintly-throbbing note
Of high-wrought rapture, from that flute-like throat.

The warbling world, itself, is hushed about him;
No bird essays the amœbean strain:
Each knows the soul of Music—full without him—
Could bear no more, and rivalry were vain.
So, Daphnis singing in the tamarisk shade,
All things grew silent, of a sound afraid.

The aspens by the lake have ceased to shiver,
As if the very zephyrs held their breath:
Hearken how, wave on wave, with notes that quiver,
It rises now—that song of life and death!
"O holy! holy!" Was it Heaven that called
My spirit, by love's ecstasy enthralled?