Far back in the mythical ages,
A palace of silence once stood
In the deep and solemn shadows
That o'er-brooded a summer wood. 
The birds never wandered thither,
The winds never stirred a leaf,
And the song of the brook seemed muffled
In the spell of some hidden grief.
In those beautiful amethyst cloisters,
Where the sunbeams seldom stole,
Each monk, with a vow of silence,
Had solemnly pledged his soul
That never a sigh or murmur
On the air they breathed should fall;
Only the clock's soft ticking,
And the prayer-bell's midnight call.
But out of the river the lilies
Crept up where the shadows fell,
And white, and silent, and lovely,
They stole into chapel and cell;
They went with the monks to the masses,
Where each one opened its cup
And spilled on a soul its incense,
Ere night folded its petals up.
The sweetest of summer roses
In the palace shadows grew,
And the rain, when it came to feed them,
Was as silent as the dew.
The violets that bloomed in the wildwood
Were purple-eyed and sweet,
And they shed their tender fragrance
At the touch of all silent feet.
So in the silence, foreshadowing
The silence that comes of death,
The monks walked so near the lilies
That each one lived in their breath;
And that, with the dew of roses,
Clung to their souls so fast
That an angel's wings were fashioned
When death came for them at last.
Ah, each heart has its silent palace,
Where no one may enter in;
Its cloister of shadows and secrets
Where a living love has been;
Some dream of heaven, it may be,
Or some beautiful memory,
Which we shrouded in white samite,
And buried beneath the sea.
But happy are we if, at midnight,
As we go from cell to shrine,
The sweet, white faces of lilies
Out of the darkness shine;
Blest, if they spill their fragrance
On the bleeding wounds we bear,
When we kneel by our shattered idols
Too weary to utter a prayer.
"Be still," says the dear Heavenly Father;
"Know I am God; be still.
I will lay on your heart my lilies
When you have bowed to my will;
My love shall be sweeter than roses,
When I fold you in sleep to my breast,
And in my own temple of silence
Give my beloved ones rest."

File:Jacob Maris - Biddende monnik.jpg