TO JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER Three Silences there are: the first of speech, The second of desire, the third of thought; This is the lore a Spanish monk, distraught With dreams and visions, was the first to teach. These Silences, commingling each with each, Made up the perfect Silence, that he sought And prayed for, and wherein at times he caught Mysterious sounds from realms beyond our reach. O thou, whose daily life anticipates The life to come, and in whose thought and word The spiritual world preponderates. Hermit of Amesbury! thou too hast heard Voices and melodies from beyond the gates, And speakest only when thy soul is stirred!
Return to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow library , or . . . Read the next poem; The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls