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O blesséd 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 each other groan;
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,
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,
To take into the air my quiet breath ;
In such an ecstasy!
To thy high requien 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 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.
In the next valley-glades :
UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE,
SEPT. 3, 1802
Earth has not anything to show more fair :
To one who has been long in city pent, 'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
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 fed ; 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
COMPOSED AT NEIDPATH CASTLE, THE PROPERTY OF LORD QUEENSBERRY,
1803 Degenerate Douglas ! oh, the unworthy lord ! Whom mere despite of heart could so far please And love of havoc, (for with such disease Fame taxes him,) that he could send forth word To level with the dust a noble horde, A brotherhood of venerable trees, Leaving an ancient dome, and towers like these, Beggar'd and outraged !-Many hearts deplored The fate of those old trees; and oft with pain The traveller at this day will stop and gaze On wrongs, which Nature scarcely seems to heed: For shelter'd places, bosoms, nooks, and bays, And the pure mountains, and the gentle Tweed, And the green silent pastures, yet remain.
THE BEECH TREE'S PETITION