From The House of Life
19. "Silent Noon"
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass --
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky:
So this winged hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.
--Dante Gabriel Rossetti
This selection from Rossetti's sonnet cycle is maybe best-known for the setting by Ralph Vaughan Williams, which gives me an excuse to include this version by John McCormack, recorded in 1941. A miraculous recording, considering that McCormack was in his 60s and ill with emphysema.