Evening on a Coral Island

VOICES are about me everywhere:
Ghosts of sound that form and substance seek
In vain; and earthly music that would break
The spell that binds it, wanders in this air.
May heaven be thanked! No means have I to snare
A ghost among them. Not a voice may speak.
Time marches on unheard, week after week;
I only guess his harmless passage here.
Granted that news of highest consequence
I miss, and feast of wit, and flow of soul.
I do not care. Mid-ocean solitudes
Offer, as of old, a recompense,
A gift that every lesser gift includes:
Silence, in a brimming silver bowl.
JAMES NORMAN HALL