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ODE ON A GRECIAN URN.
Thou still unravished bride of quietness!
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
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 cloyed,
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,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn? And, 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.'
Bards of Passion and of Mirth,
With the whisper of heaven's trees
Browsed by none but Dian's fawns ;
Thus ye live on high, and then On the earth ye live again; And the souls ye left behind you Teach us, here, the way to find you, Where your other souls are joying, Never slumbered, never cloying. Here, your earth-born souls still speak To mortals, of their little week; Of their sorrows and delights; Of their passions and their spites; Of their glory and their shame; What doth strengthen and what maim. Thus ye teach us, every day, Wisdom, though fled far away.
Bards of Passion and of Mirth, Ye have left your souls on earth! Ye have souls in heaven too, Double-lived in regions new!
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
LINES ON THE MERMAID TAVERN.
Souls of poets dead and gone,
I have heard that on a day
Sipping beverage divine,
Souls of poets dead and gone, What Elysium have ye known, Happy field or mossy cavern, Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?