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Amid yon tuft of hazel irees,
Yet seeming still to hover ;
That cover him all over.
Pours forth his song in gushes;
O blithe new-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice :
Or but a wandering Voice ?
Thy twofold shout I hear ; From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off and near. Though babbling only to the vale
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Of visionary hours.
Even yet thou art to me
A voice, a mystery ;
The same whom in my school-boy days
I listen’d to ; that Cry
In bush, and tree, and sky.
Through woods and on the green ;
Still longed for, never seen.
That golden time again.
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE 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:
In some melodious plot
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delvéd earth, Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
18 That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim : 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. 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. I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, But, in embalméd 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, Call’d him soft names in many a muséd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath ;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
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 : Perhaps the self-same song that found a path 65 Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for
The same that oft-times hath 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 ! 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 a vision, or a waking dream ? Fled is that music :-do I wake or sleep ? 80
UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE,
SEPT. 3, 1802
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty : This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning : silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky, All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill ; Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep !
The river glideth at his own sweet will : Dear God! the very houses seem asleep ; And all that mighty heart is lying still !
OZYMANDIAS OF EGYPT
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said : Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that
And on the pedestal these words appear : My name is Ozymandias, king of kings : Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair !'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.
P. B. SHELLEY.