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Edward Rowland Sill (Эдвард Роулэнд Силл)

The Oracle

DOWN in its crystal hollow
Gleams the ebon well of ink:
In the deepest drop lies lurking
The thought all men shall think.

Fair on the waiting tablet
Lies the empty paper's space:
Out of its snow shall flush a word
Like an angel's earnest face.

Who in those depths shall cast his line
For the gnome that hugs that thought?
Who from the snowy field shall charm
That flower of truth untaught?

Not in the lore of the ancients,
Not in the yesterday:
On the lips of the living moments
The gods their message lay.

Somewhere near it is waiting,
Like a night-wind wandering free,
Seeking a mouth to speak through,—
Whose shall the message be?

It may steal forth like a flute note,
It may be suddenly hurled
In blare upon blare of a trumpet blast,
To startle and stir the world.

Hark! but just on the other side
Some thinbest wall of dreams,
Murmurs a whispered music,
And softest rose-light gleams.

Listen, and watch, and tell the world
What it almost dies to know.
Or wait—and the wise old world will say,
"I knew it long ago."

Edward Rowland Sill's other poems:
  1. Hermione
  2. Tempted
  3. Fertility
  4. Reproof of Love
  5. The Dead President

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