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Already with thee! tender is the night,

And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Clustered around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes

Through verdurous glooms and winding
mossy ways. 40

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed3 darkness, guess each sweet

Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild; White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; Fast fading violets covered up in leaves; And mid-May's eldest child, The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine. The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves. 60

Darkling I listen; and, for* many a time

I have been half in love with easeful Death, Called him soft names in many a mused rhyme.

To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die, To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad

In such an ecstasy! Still wouldst thou .sing, and I have ears in vain—

To thy high requiem become a sod. Go

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!

No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown: Perhaps the self-same song that found a path

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,

She stood in tears amid the alien corn;The same that oft-times hath Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn. 70

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell

To toll me back from thee to my sole self! Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well

As she is famed to do, deceiving elf. Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades

Past the near meadows, over the still stream. Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep In the next valley-glades: Was it a vision, or a waking dream?

Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

3 balmy * Ruth, It.

* inasmuch ns. while


Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time.

Sylvan historian,' who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape

Of deities or mortals, or of both, Iu Tempe or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?

What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? 10

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;

Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave

Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; Bold Lover, uever. never canst thou kiss. Though winning near the goal—vet, do not grieve;

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,

For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed

Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; And, happy melodist, unwearied,

For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!

For ever warm and still to be enjoyed. For ever panting, and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above,

That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,

A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. 30

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?

To what green altar, O mysterious priest. Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

And all her silken flanks with garlands dressed?

What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn f

i historian of sylvan scenes

* "There Is some reason for thinking that the particular urn which inspired this beautiful poem Is a somewhat weather-beaten work in marble still preserver! in Hie garden of Holland House, and llifired In l'lranesl's I n*/ e Ciinilelabrl." — II. B. Korman.

And, little town, tby streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. 40

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brcde=
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!

When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say 'st,

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"—that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. 50


No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist

Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;

Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kissed

By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine; Make not your rosary of yew-berries,

Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be Your mournful Psyche,1 nor the downy owl A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;

For shade to shade will come too drowsily, And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul. 10

But when the melancholy fit shall fall

Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud, That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,

And hides the green hill in an April shroud; Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose, Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave, Or on the wealth of globed peonies; Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows, Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave. And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes. 20

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;

And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,

Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips: Ay, in the very temple of Delight

Veiled Melancholy has her sovran shrine, Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue

J embroidery (cp. Colllns's Orfr to Evening, line 7, p. 3J6)

8 draw us from anxieties

l Psyche, the soul, was conventionally symbolized by the huttcrfly.

| Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine: His soul shall taste the sadness of her might. And be among her cloudy trophies hung. 30


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatcheaves run;

To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more. And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, 10

For Summer has o'er-brimmed their elammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store f Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep. Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost kee|> Steady thy laden head across a brook; 2i> Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they!

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too.— While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day.

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue: Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 30 Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


Souls of Poets dead and gone.
What Elysium have ye known,

• The Mermaid Tavern was a favorite resort of Shakespeare. Jonson. and their friends.

Happy field or mossy cavern.
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host's Canary wine?
Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.

1 have heard that on a day
Mine host's sign-board flew away,
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer's old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
I'nderneath a new old sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.

Souls of Poets dead and gone, What Elysium have ye known, Happy field or mossy cavern, Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?


In a drear-nighted December,

Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember

Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them,
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them

From budding at the prime.

In a drear-nighted December,

Too happy, happy brook.
Thy babblings ne'er remember

Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting.
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting

About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many

A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any

Writhed not at passed joy?
To know the change and feel it,
When there is none to heal it,
Nor numbed sense to steel it,

Was never said in rhyme.


O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms.

Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,

And no birds sing.

0 what can ail thee, knight-at-arms. So haggard and so woe-begone?

The squirrel's granary is full,

And the harvest's done. 8

1 see a lily on thy brow,

With anguish moist and fever dew;
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.—

I met a lady in the meads,

Full beautiful—a faery's child; Her hair was long, her foot was light,

And her eyes were wild. 16

I made a garland for her head,

And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;

She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,

And nothing else saw, all day long.

For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery's song. 24

She found me roots of relish sweet.

And honey wild, and manna dew; And sure in language strange she said,

'' I love thee true.''

She took me to her elfin grot.

And there she wept, and sighed full sore; And there I shut her wild, wild eyes

With kisses four. 32

And there she lulled me asleep,

And there I dreamed, ah woe betide!

The latest dream Fever dreamt
On the cold hill's side.

I saw pale kings, anil princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;

They cried, "La Belle Dame sans Merci

Hath thee in thrall!" «0

'"The Fair Lady without Pity." Cn. The Ere of St. A fine*, st. 33. Rents obtained tho title from nn old French poem, n translation of which Was once attributed to Chaucer. There are two versions of Kests's poem, but the second Is hardly an Improvement over the first, which Is the more familiar, and which Is given here. The reply of the knight begins at the fourth stanza. The story has some resemblance to that if Tnnnhiinser and the Vennsberg.

1 saw their starved lips In the gloam
With horrid warning gaped wide—

And I awoke, and found me here,
On the cold hill's side.

And this is why I sojourn here,

Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake

And no birds sing. 48


Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt T like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.


The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown

That is the Grasshopper's—he takes the lead
Tn summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there

The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost.
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

• This sonnet of discovery was written after Keats had spent a nlcht with a friend reading in Chapman's translation (Eng. LH., p. 97). Keats could not read <;»-eek. lint had to content himself mainly with "western Islands" of poetry and romance. It should ho nnletl that It was not Cortez, but Balboa, who discovered the Pacific.

t Written In a friendly i-ompetltlon with r.clt'h Hunt. See Hunt's sonnet, p. 4!W.


My spirit is too weak—mortality

Weighs heavily on me like unwilling sleep.

And each imagined pinnacle and steep

Of godlike hardship tells me I must die

Like a sick Kagle looking at the sky.

Yet 'tis a gentle luxury to weep

That I have not the cloudy winds to keep.

Fresh for the opening of the morning's eye.

Such dim-conceived glories of the brain

Bring round the heart .an undescribable feud;

So do these wonders a most dizzy pain,

That mingles Grecian grandeur with the rude

Wasting of old Time—with a billowy main—

A sun—a shadow of a magnitude.



It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shoies, and with its mighty swell
Gluts twice teu thousand caverns, till the spell
Of Hecatei leaves them their old shadowy

Often 'tis in such gentle temper found,
That scarcely will the very smallest shell
Be moved for days from where it sometime

When last the winds of heaven were unbound. Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vexed and tired,

Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea; Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude,

Or fed too much with cloying melody—

Sit ye near some old cavern's mouth, and brood

Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs quired!


When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain.
Before high-piled books, in characters.
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starred face.
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more.
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

l The moon.

t These marbles are mainly sculptures from the Parthenon which were transferred from Athens tn T.ondon hv Lord Klein In 1803.


Bright star! would I were stedfast as thou art—

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.


ROBERT SOUTHEY (1774-1843)
The Battle Of Blenheim]:

It was a summer evening;

Old Kaspar's work was done, And he before his cottage dour

Was sitting in the sun;
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild WiUtelmim;. 6

She saw her brother Peterkin
Roll something large and round,

Which he beside the rivulet
In playing there had found.

He came to ask what he had found.

That was so large, and smooth, and round. 12

Old Kaspar took it from the boy,
Who stood expectant by;

* This sonnet was composed on the Dorsetshire coast Just as Keats was sailing for Italy the autumn before bis death. It was written In a copy of Shakespeare's poems on a blank page facing A Lnrer'n Complaint.

t Under this general title are given here some minor poems of the early decades of the nineteenth century, though one or two are really post-Georgian. Hunt's Abou brn Adhem. for instance, is as late as 1844: but Hunt wa« himself a contemporary of Shelley and Keats. The poems have been selected partly for their real value as shown by their continued popularity, and partly to Illustrate the character and range of the minor verse of the period.

IAt Blenheim, in Bavaria, In 1704. the British and their German allies, under the Duke of Marlborough and the Austrian Prince Eugene, defeated the French and Bavarians with great loss.

And then the old man shook his head,

And with a natural sigh, "'Tis some poor fellow's skull," said he, "Who fell in the great victory. 18

'' I find them in the garden,

For there's many here about; And often, when I go to plough,

The ploughshare turns them out; For many thousand men," sail I he. '' Were slain in that great victory.'' 24

"Now tell us what 'twas all about,"

Young Peterkin, he cries; And little Wilhelmine looks up

With wonder-waiting eyes; '' Now tell us all about the war, And what they fought each other for." 30

'' It was the English,'' Kaspar cried,

"Who put the French to rout;
But what they fought each other for,

I could not well make out; But everybody said," quoth he, '' That 'twas a famous victory. 36

"My father lived at Blenheim then,

Yon little stream hard by;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,

And he was forced to fly;
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head. 42

"With fire and sword the country round

Was wasted far and wide,
And many a childing mother then,

And new-born baby, died;
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory. 48

"They say it was a shocking sight

After the field was won;
For many thousand bodies here

Lay rotting in the sun;
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory. 54

"Great praise the Duke of Marlboro' won,

And our good Prince Eugene." "Why. 'twas a very wicked thing!"

Said little Wilhelmine. "Nay, nay, my little girl," quoth he; '' It was a famous victory. 60

"And everybody praised the Duke

Who this great fight did win.'' "But what good came of it at last I"

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