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I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
And mid-May's eldest child,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time,
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
In such an ecstasy !
To thy high requiem become a sod.
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:
The same that ofttimes hath
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
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.
In the next valley glades:
Fled is that music :-Do I wake or sleep?
ODE ON A GRECIAN URN.
Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness !
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow time,
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What pipes and timbrels ? What wild ecstasy ?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
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 enjoy'd,
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? And, little town, thy streets for evermore Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
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
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
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
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;
To feel no other breezes than are blown Through its tall woods with high romances blent : Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment
For skies Italian, and an inward groan
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,
Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging : Yet do I often warmly burn to see
Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing, And float with them about the summer waters.
In a drear-nighted December,
In a drear-nighted December,
Ah! would t'were so with many