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ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE
Away! away! for I will fly to thee, My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, pains
But on the viewless wings of Poesy, My sense, as though of hemlock I had Though the dull brain perplexes and drunk,
retards: Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains Already with thee! tender is the night, 35 One minute past, and Lethe-wards had And haply the Queen-Moon is on her sunk:
throne, 'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, 5
Clustered around by all her starry But being too happy in thine happi
But here there is no light, That thou, light-wingèd Dryad of the Save what from heaven is with the trees,
breezes blown In some melodious plot
Through verdurous glooms and windOf beechen green, and shadows number
ing mossy ways. less, Singest of summer in full-throated I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the
boughs, O for a draught of vintage! that hath been But, in embalmèd darkness, guess each Cooled a long age in the deep-delvèd sweet earth,
Wherewith the seasonable month enTasting of Flora and the country green,
dows Dance, and Provençal song, and sun- The grass, the thicket, and the fruit tree burnt mirth!
wild; O for a beaker full of the warm South, White hawthorn, and the pastoral Full of the true, the blushful Hippo- eglantine; crene,
Fast fading violets covered up in With beaded bubbles winking at the
And mid-May's eldest child, And purple-stainèd mouth; The coming musk-rose, full of dewy That I might drink, and leave the world
The murmurous haunt of flies on And with thee fade away into the
50 forest dim:
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget I have been half in love with easeful What thou among the leaves has never Death, known,
Called him soft names in many a musèd The weariness, the fever, and the fret
rhyme, Here, where men sit and hear each other To take into the air my quiet breath; groan;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die, 55 What men or gods are these? What To cease upon the midnight with no
maidens loth? pain,
What mad pursuit? What struggle to While thou art pouring forth thy soul
What pipes and timbrels? What In such an ecstasy!
wild ecstasy? Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unTo thy high requiem become a sod. 60
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, Thou wast not born for death, immortal play on; Bird!
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared, No hungry generations tread thee down; Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: The voice I hear this passing night was Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst heard
15 In ancient days by emperor and clown: Thy song, nor ever can those trees be Perhaps the self-same song that found a
65 Bold Lover, never, never canst thou Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, kiss, sick for home,
Though winning near the goal-yet, do She stood in tears amid the alien corn; not grieve;
The same that oft-times hath She cannot fade, though thou hast not Charmed magic casements, opening on thy bliss, the foam
Forever wilt thou love, and she be Of perilous seas, in faery lands for
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
adieu: Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well And, happy melodist, unwearied,
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf. Forever piping songs forever new; Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades 75 More happy love! more happy, happy Past the near meadows, over the still
Forever warm and still to be enjoyed, Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried Forever panting, and forever young; deep
All breathing human passion far above, In the next valley-glades:
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
cloyed, Fled is that music:-Do I wake or A burning forehead, and a parching sleep?
Who are these coming to the sacrifice? ODE ON A GRECIAN URN
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, Thou still unravished bride of quietness, And all her silken flanks with garlands Thou foster-child of silence and slow
What little town by river or sea shore, 35 Sylvan historian, who canst thus express Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, A flowery tale more sweetly than our Is emptied of this folk, this pious rhyme:
morn? What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy And, little town, thy streets for evermore shape
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell Of deities or mortals, or of both,
Why thou art desolate, can e'er reIn Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede! She dwells with Beauty-Beauty that Of marble men and maidens over
must die; wrought,
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his With forest branches and the trodden
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of nigh, thought
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
sips: When old age shall this generation Ay, in the very temple of Delight 25 waste,
Veiled Melancholy has her sovran Thou shalt remain, in midst of other shrine, woe
Though seen of none save him whose Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou
strenuous tongue say'st,
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"—that
fine: is all
His soul shall taste the sadness of her Ye know on earth, and all ye need to might, know.
50 And be among her cloudy trophies hung.
ODE ON MELANCHOLY
TO AUTUMN No, no! go not to Lethe, neither twist Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poison- Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, ous wine;
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kissed Conspiring with him how to load and bless By nightshade, ruby grape of Proser- With fruit the vines that round the pine;
thatch-eaves run; Make not your rosary of yew-berries, 5 To bend with apples the mossed cottageNor let the beetle, nor the death-moth
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the Your mournful Psyche, nor the
core; downy owl
To swell the gourd, and plump the A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
hazel shells For shade to shade will come too With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, drowsily,
And still more, later flowers for the And drown the wakeful anguish of the bees, soul.
Until they think warm days will never
cease, But when the melancholy fit shall fall
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their Sudden from heaven like a weeping
clammy cells. cloud, That fosters the droop-headed flowers all, Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy And hides the green hills in an April
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose, 15
find Or on the rainbow of the salt-sand wave, Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Or on the wealth of globèd peonies; Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
15 Emprison her soft hand, and let her Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep, rave,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while And feed deep, deep upon her peer- thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its 1 embroidery.
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook; 20 Or by a cider-press, with patient look, Thou watchest the last oozings hours
Souls of Poets dead and gone, What Elysium have ye known, Happy field or mossy cavern, Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where
are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music
too,While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
25 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
He would swear, for all his oaks,
Northward he turneth through a little Fallen beneath the dockyard strokes,
door, Have rotted on the briny seas; 45 And scarce three steps, ere Music's She would weep that her wild bees
golden tongue Sang not to her-strange! that honey Flattered to tears this aged man and Can't be got without hard money!
But no-already had his deathbell So it is: yet let us sing,
rung; Honor to the old bow-string! 50
The joys of all his life were said and Honor to the bugle-horn!
sung: Honor to the woods unshorn!
His was harsh penance on St. Agnes' Honor to the Lincoln green!
Eve: Honor to the archer keen!
Another way he went, and soon among 25 Honor to tight Little John,
Rough ashes sat he for his soul's reAnd the horse he rode upon!
prieve, Honor to bold Robin Hood,
And all night kept awake, for sinners' sake Sleeping in the underwood!
to grieve. Honor to Maid Marian, And to all the Sherwood-clan! 60
That ancient Beadsman heard the preThough their days have hurried by,
lude soft; Let us two a burden' try.
And so it chanced, for many a door was
From hurry to and fro. Soon, up aloft, THE EVE OF ST. AGNES
The silver, snarling trumpets 'gan to chide:
31 St. Agnes' Eve--Ah, bitter chill it was!
The level chambers, ready with their The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
pride, The hare limped trembling through the
Were glowing to receive a thousand frozen grass,
guests: And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
The carved angels, ever eager-eyed, Numb were the Beadsman's fingers,
Stared, where upon their heads the while he told 5 cornice rests,
35 His rosary, and while his frosted breath, with hair blown back, and wings put Like pious incense from a censer old,
crosswise on their breasts. Seemed taking flight for heaven, without a death,
At length burst in the argent revelry, Past the sweet Virgin's picture, while his
With plume, tiara, and all rich array,
Numerous as shadows haunting fairily His prayer he saith, this patient, holy The brain, new stuffed, in youth, with man;
triumphs gay Then takes his lamp, and riseth from Of old romance. These let us wish his knees,
away, And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, And turn, sole-thoughted, to one Lady wan,
there, Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees: Whose heart had brooded, all that winThe sculptured dead, on each side, seem try day, to freeze,
On love, and winged St. Agnes' saintly Emprisoned in black, purgatorial rails: care, Knights, ladies, praying in dumb or- As she had heard old dames full many at'ries,
16 times declare. He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails To think how they may ache in icy hoods They told her how, upon St. Agnes' Eve, and mails.
Young virgins might have visions of 1 chorus.
prayer he saith.