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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 deceives A brother of the dancing leaves ; Then flits, and from the cottage-eaves Pours forth his song in gushes;
As if by that exulting strain
TO THE CUCKOO
O blithe new-comer! I have heard,
O blessed Bird! the earth we pace
ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
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!
And purple-stainéd mouth ;
And with thee fade away into the forest dim :
What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear cach other groan ; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs ;
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away ! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards :
But here there is no light,
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,
Darkling I listen ; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
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 Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for
She stood in tears amid the alien corn ;
The same that oft-times hath
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
In the next valley-glades :
* Earth has not anything to show more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
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The river glideth at his own sweet will :