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!