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And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
That leaves a heart high sorrowful and cloy'd,
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,
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
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 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.
ODE TO PSYCHE.
O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
And pardon that thy secrets should be sung,
Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see
The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes?
I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly,
And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise, Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side
In deepest grass, beneath the whispering roof
Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran A brooklet, scarce espied: 'Mid hush'd, cool-rooted flowers fragrant-eyed,
Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian, They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass;
Their arms embraced, and their pinions too;
Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu,
At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love:
But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove \
O latest-born and loveliest vision far
Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky; Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
Nor altar heap'd with flowers; Nor Virgin-choir to make delicious moan Upon the midnight hours;
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
From chain-swung censer teeming; No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat
Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.
O brightest! though too late for antique vows,
When holy were the haunted forest boughs,
Yet even in these days so far retired
I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired.
So let me be thy choir, and make a moan
From swinged censer teeming:
Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.
Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
In some untrodden region of my mind, Where branched thoughts, new-grown with pleasant pain,
Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind: Far, far around shall those dark-cluster'd trees
Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep; And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull'd to sleep;
With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same: And there shall be for thee all soft delight
That shadowy thought can win,
To let the warm Love in!
Ever let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind's cage door,
She 'll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Summer's joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming:
Autumn's red-lipp'd fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting: What do then?
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear faggot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter's night;
When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the caked snow is shuffled
From the ploughboy's heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark conspiracy
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad,
With a mind self-overawed,
Fancy, high-commission'd:—send her!
She has vassals to attend her:
She will bring, in spite of frost,
Beauties that the earth hath lost;
She will bring thee, all together,
All delights of summer weather;
All the buds and bells of May,
From dewy sward or thorny spray;
All the heaped Autumn's wealth,
With a still, mysterious stealth:
She will mix these pleasures up
Like three fit wines in a cup,
And thou shalt quaff it:—thou shalt hear
Distant harvest-carols clear;
Rustle of the reaped corn;
Sweet birds antheming the morn:
And, in the same moment—hark!
Tis the early April lark,
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold;
White-plumed lilies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
And every leaf, and every flower
PearPd with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
Meagre from its celled sleep;
And the snake all winter-thin
Cast on sunny bank its skin;
Freckled nest eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
When the hen-bird's wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the bee-hive casts its swarm;
Acorns ripe down-pattering
While the autumn breezes sing.
Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose; Every thing is spoilt by use: Where's the cheek that doth not fade, Too much gazed at? Where's the maid