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Which, as it were in gentle amity,
Rippled delighted up the flowery side;
As if to glean the ruddy tears it tried,
Which fell profusely from the rose-tree stem
Haply it was the workings of its pride,
In strife to throw upon the shore a gem
Outvying all the buds in Flora's diadem.

Woman! when I behold thee flippant, vain,

Inconstant, childish, proud, and full of fancies;

Without that modest softening that enhances
The downcast eye, repentant of the pain
That its mild light creates to heal again;

E'en then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances,

E'en then my soul with exultation dances
For that to love, so long, I 've dormant lain:
But when I see thee meek, and kind, and tender,

Heavens! how desperately do I adore
Thy winning graces;—to be thy defender

1 hotly burn—to be a Calidore— A very Red Cross Knight—a stout Leander—

Might I be loved by thee like these of yore.

Light feet, dark violet eyes, and parted hair;

Soft dimpled hands, white neck, and creamy breast;

Are things on which the dazzled senses rest
Till the fond, fixed eyes, forget they stare.
From such fine pictures, Heavens! I cannot dare

To turn my admiration, though unpossess'd

They be of what is worthy,—though not drest,
In lovely modesty, and virtues rare.
Yet these I leave as thoughtless as the lark;

These lures I straight forget,—e'en ere I dine,

Or thrice my palate moisten: but when I mark
Such charms with mild intelligences shine,

My ear is open like a greedy shark,
To catch the tunings of a voice divine.

Ah! who can e'er forget so fair a being!

Who can forget her half-retiring sweets?

God! she is like the milk-white lamb that bleats For man's protection. Surely the All-seeing, Who joys to see us with his gifts agreeing,

Will never give him pinions, who intreats

Such innocence to ruin,—who vilely cheats A dove-like bosom. In truth there is no freeing One's thoughts from such a beauty; when I hear

A lay that once I saw her hand awake, Her form seems floating palpable, and near:

Had I e'er seen her from an arbour take A dewy flower, oft would that hand appear,

And o'er my eyes the trembling moisture shake.

ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.

I.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the treeu,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

2. O for a draught of vintage, that hath been

Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country-green,

Dance, and Provencal song, and sun-burnt mirth!

O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,

With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

3.
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget

What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs; Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

4. Away! away! for I will fly to thee,

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,

And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

5.

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
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
Fast-fading violets cover'd 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.

6. Darkling I listen; and for many a time

I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call'd 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.

7. 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 J
The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

8.
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 the vision, or a waking dream?
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, 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,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?

What men or gods are these? What maidens loath 1
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?

What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

2. 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!

3.
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu j

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