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Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam 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.
ODE ON A GRECIAN URN.
HOU 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? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape ?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy ?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
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 that 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 its folk, this pious morn? Ah! 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 brede
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.
GODDESS! hear these tuneless numbers wrung
By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear, And pardon that thy secrets should be sung, Even into thine own soft-conched ear: 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
At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love :
But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove?
O latest-born and loveliest vision far
Fairer than Phoebe's sapphire-region'd star,
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
From happy pieties, thy lucent fans,
Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet
Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
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; And in the midst of this wide quietness A rosy sanctuary will I dress
With the wreathed trellis of a working brain, With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign,
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
VER let the Fancy roam,
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad,