Do you, O Man, still measure your own walk
by pace of strangers, busy with all things?
And lowering your voice, you loudly knock
on doors of tyrants, cheaply claimed as kings?
Do you yet gorge from golden platters laid
before you, clanging, when your hunger dims?
And, frightened from assertion, thus put paid
to tales of good and right; of anthems, hymns?
Have you forgot our life? Calm acts of Good,
the hero’s will? Have these in mind at all?
That, yes, despite being lost in darkest wood
our journey follows some old, quiet Call?
I offer remedy, you Overwhelmed, who, lacking
peaceful words, are noisome — so hear me:
Bear, now, your very self away and think:
“If I would lack the busy-ness of strife,
without the friend to text, or kitchen sink
to gather ’round and talk, would I have life?”
O Men, your wearied hearts are cast down low;
despising me, you revel in each high.
I am a friend of man; perceived a foe,
forlorn, but hope’s Great Ally. Who am I?
Pursuer of all men, with love, unto the end,
though, knowing not, you fret to meet my face:
the only help whose countenance will send
its seeker to its opposite’s embrace.
I am the deepest knell, the piercing doom that summons
fools to wisdom — my name is Silence.

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