sylvia berté



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5

THE ORB I like is not the one
That dazzles with its lightning gleam;
That dares to look upon the sun,
As though it challenged brighter beam.
That orb may sparkle, flash, and roll;
Its fire may blaze, its shaft may fly;
But not for me: I prize the soul
That slumbers in a quiet eye.

Image by Jules Faure
There ‘s something in its placid shade
That tells of calm, unworldly thought;
Hope may be crown’d, or joy delay’d—
No dimness steals, no ray is caught.
Its pensive language seems to say,
“I know that I must close and die;”
And death itself, come when it may,
Can hardly change the quiet eye.

Images by Niklas Bergstrand, Véra Ada

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15

There ‘s meaning in its steady glance,
Of gentle blame or praising love,
That makes me tremble to advance
A word, that meaning might reprove.
The haughty threat, the fiery look,
My spirit proudly can defy,
But never yet could meet and brook
The upbraiding of a quiet eye.

Images by Wataru Suzuki, Nick Hudson, The Collaborationist



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The Quiet Eye, by Eliza Cook (1902 - 1989)

Eliza Cook was an English author and poet associated with the Chartist movement. She was a proponent of political freedom for women, and believed in the ideology of self-improvement through education, something she called “levelling up.” This made her hugely popular with the working class public in both England and America.

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