The Precept of Silence by Lionel Johnson

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The Precept of Silence
by Lionel Johnson
I know you: solitary griefs,
desolate passions, aching hours!
I know you: tremulous beliefs,
agonised hopes and ashen flowers!
The winds are sometimes sad to me;
The starry spaces, full of fear;
mine is the sorrow of the sea,
and mine the sigh of places drear.
Some players upon plaintive strings,
publish their wistfulness abroad,
I have not spoken of these things,
save to one man, and unto God.
——————————————
Lionel Johnson (1867-1902) was a poet and essayist who cut a tragic figure, struggling with alcoholism and repressed homosexuality. he was a friend of Oscar Wilde and a cousin to Lord Alfred Douglas. The above poem is taken from The Weekend Book.
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