On the Invention of Letters by Joseph Stennett

Tell me what Genius did the art invent,
The lively image of the voice to paint;
Who first the secret how to colour sound,
And to give shape to reason, wisely found;
With bodies how to cloath ideas, taught;
And how to draw the picture of a thought:
Who taught the hand to speak, the eye to hear
A silent language roving far and near;
Whose softest noise outstrips loud thunder’s sound,
And spreads her accents thro’ the world’s vast round:
A voice heard by the deaf, spoke by the dumb,
Whose echo reaches long, long time to come;
Which dead men speak as well as those alive —
Tell me what Genius did this art contrive.

From: http://www.eighteenthcenturypoetry.org/works/o5157-w0750.shtml

Date: 1725 (published)

By: Joseph Stennett (1663-1713)

Alternative Title: On the Invention of Writing; Ænigma on Writing

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