Richard Flecknoe in 1678 wrote a poem about hermits living alone and never speaking again.
What a foolish waste
Still-born silence, you that art,
a floodgate of the deeper heart.
Offspring of a heavenly kind,
frost of the mouth, and thaw of mind.
Silent hermits, hallowed cells,
where retired devotion dwells,
with your enthusiasm, come,
seize our tongue, and strike us dumb.
I would have to listen forever,
or so it would sadly seem.
My poor tongue could be of leather,
and to join in just a dream.
First head to left and then to right,
speechless, a Trappist monk!
Being ignored is a terrible plight,
your spirits are quickly sunk.
Then the surgeonís hands, they touched me,
a miracle he performed.
Not only did my spirit fly free,
but words my silent lips formed.
Not only a life he gave me,
but of a quality, oh so rare,
The joy of contact with others,
and poor poetry to share.