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I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time,
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain-
Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird!
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that ofttimes hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
ODE ON A GRECIAN URN.
THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness!
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape? Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In 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?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
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, never, never canst thou kiss, Though winning near the goal-yet, 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
For ever piping songs for ever new;
For ever panting and for ever young; All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high sorrowful and cloy'd, A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
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 drest? What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with breed
Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other wo 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.
To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye
He mourns that day so soon has glided by;
That falls through the clear ether silently.
HAPPY is England! I could be content
To see no other verdure than its own;
For skies Italian, and an inward groan
Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging:
Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing, And float with them about the summer waters.
IN a drear-nighted December,
Thy branches ne'er remember
The north cannot undo them,
In a drear-nighted December,
About the frozen time.
Ah! would t'were so with many