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CCLXXXVII

TO A SKYLARK
Hail to thee, blithe Spirit !

Bird thou never wert,
That from heaven, or near it

Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher

From the earth thou springest,
Like a cloud of fire,

The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun
O’er which clouds are brightening,

Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even

Melts around thy flight ;
Like a star of heaven

In the broad daylight
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight:

Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows

In the white dawn clear
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,

From one lonely cloud l'he moon rains out her beams, and heaven is over

flow'd.
What thou art we know not ;

What is most like thee?
From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody ;-

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not :

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower :

Like a glow-worm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aerial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from

the view :
Like a rose embower'd

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflower'd,

Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged

thieves.
Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awaken'd flowers,

All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine :
I have never heard

Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal

Or triumphal chaunt
Match'd with thine, would be all
But an empty

auntA thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain ?
What fields, or waves, or mountains ?

What shapes of sky or plain ?
What love of thine own kind ? what ignorance of

pain ?
With thy clear keen joyance

Languor cannot be :
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee :
Thou lovest ; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep

Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal streain ?

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not :
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught ;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest

thought.
Yet if we could scorn

Hate, and pride, and fear ;
If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.
Better than all mea

measures Of delightful sound, Better than all treasures

That in books are found, Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground !

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know,
Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now !

P. B. Shelley

CCLXXXVIII

THE GREEN LINNET Beneath these fruit-tree boughs that shed Their snow-white blossoms on my head, With brightest sunshine round me spread Of Spring's unclouded weather, In this sequester'd nook how sweet To sit upon my orchard-seat ! And flowers and birds once more to greet, My last year's friends together. One have I mark'd, the happiest guest In all this covert of the blest : Hail to Thee, far above the rest In joy of voice and pinion ! Thou, Linnet ! in thy green array Presiding Spirit here to-day Dost lead the revels of the May ; And this is thy dominion. While birds, and butterflies, and flowers, Make all one band of paramours, Thou, ranging up and down the bowers, 'Art sole in thy employment ; A Life, a Presence like the air, Scattering thy gladness without care, Too blest with any one to pair ; Thyself thy own enjoyment. Amid yon tuft of hazel trees That twinkle to the gusty breeze, Behold him perch'd in ecstasies Yet seeming still to hover ; There ! where the flutter of his wings Upon his back and body flings Shadows and sunny glimmerings, That cover him all over. My dazzled sight he oft deceivesA brother of the dancing leaves ; Then flits, and from the cottage-eaves Pours forth his song in gushes ;

As if by that exulting strain
He mock'd and treated with disdain
The voiceless Form he chose to feign,
While Auttering in the bushes.

W. Wordsworth

CCLXXXIX

TO THE CUCKOO

O blithe new-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice :
O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee Bird,
Or but a wandering Voice ?
While I am lying on the grass
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,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.
Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring !
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery ;
The same whom in my school-boy days
I listen'd to ; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green ;
And thou wert still a hope, a love ;
Still long'd for, never seen !
And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.

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