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THE POET'S DREAM
On a Poet's lips I slept
Nor heed nor see what things they be-
P. B. Shelley
GLEN-ALMAIN, THE NARROW GLEN
Does then the Bard sleep here indeed?
The World is too much with us; late and soon,
WITHIN KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL,
"CAMBRIDGE Tax not the royal Saint with vain expense, With ill-match'd aims the Architect who plann'd (Albeit labouring for a scanty band Of white-robed Scholars only) this immense And glorious work of fine intelligence ! -Give all thou canst ; high Heaven rejects the lore Of nicely-calculated less or more :So deem'd the man who fashion'd for the sense These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof Self-poised, and scoop'd into ten thousand cells Where light and shade repose, where music dwells Lingering—and wandering on as loth to die ; Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof That they were born for immortality.
ODE ON A GRECIAN URN Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme : What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempé or the dales of Arcady? What men or gods are these? What maidens loth ? What mad pursuit ? What struggle to escape ?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter ; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare ;
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
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu ;
For ever piping songs for ever new;
For ever panting, and for ever young ;
breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd, A burning forehead,
and a parching tongue. 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?
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.
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
YOUTH AND AGE Verse, a breeze 'mid blossoms straying, Where Hope clung feeding, like a beeBoth were mine ! Life went a-maying With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young! When I was young ?-Ah, woful when ! Ah ! for the change 'twixt Now and Then ! This breathing house not built with hands, This body that does me grievous wrong, O’er aery cliffs and glittering sands How lightly then it flash'd along : Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore, On winding lakes and rivers wide, That ask no aid of sail or oar, That fear no spite of wind or tide! Nought cared this body for wind or weather When Youth and I lived in't together.
Flowers are lovely ; Love is flower-like ; Friendship is a sheltering tree ; D! the joys, that came down shower-like, Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old ! Ere I was old ? Ah woful Ere, Which tells me, Youth's no longer here ! O Youth ! for years so many and sweet, 'Tis known that Thou and I were one, I'll think it but a fond conceitIt cannot be, that Thou art gone ! Thy vesper-bell hath not yet tolld :And thou wert aye a masker bold ! What strange disguise hast now put on To make believe that Thoi art gone ? I see these locks in silvery slips, This drooping gait, this alter'd size : But Springtide blossoms on thy lips, And tears take sunshine from thine eyes ! Life is but Thought : so think I will That Youth and I are house-mates still.