Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

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

home,
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!
Adieu ! the fancy cannot cheat so well

As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu ! adieu ! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side ; and now 'tis buried deep

In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream ?

Fled is that music :- do I wake or sleep?

ODE ON A GRECIAN URN.

THO

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 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

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 ;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,

For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm, and still to be enjoy'd,

For ever panting and for ever young ;
All 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 that 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 ? Ah ! 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.

ODE TO PSYCHE.

[ocr errors]

GODDESS ! hear these tuneless numbers

wrung By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear, And pardon that thy secrets should be sung,

Even into thine own soft-conched ear: Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see

The winged Psyche with awaken'd eyes? I wander'd in a forest thoughtlessly,

And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side

In deepest grass, beneath the whispering roof
Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran

A brooklet, scarce espied :
'Mid hush'd, cool-rooted flowers fragrant-eyed,

Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian,
They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass ;

Their arms embraced, and their pinions too;

Their lips touch'd not, but had not bade adieu,
As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber,
And ready still past kisses to outnumber
At tender eye-dawn of aurorean love :

The winged boy I knew;
But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove ?

His Psyche true!
O latest-born and loveliest vision far

Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy !

Fairer than Phæbe's sapphire-region'd star,

Or Vesper, amorous glow-worm of the sky; Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,

Nor altar heap'd with flowers ;
Nor Virgin-choir to make delicious moan

Upon the midnight hours ;
No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet

From chain-swung censer teeming;
No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat

Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming,
O brightest ! though too late for antique vows,

Too, too late for the fond believing lyre,
When holy were the haunted forest boughs,

Holy the air, the water, and the fire ; Yet even in these days so far retired

From happy pieties, thy lucent fans,

Fluttering among the faint Olympians,
I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired.
So let me be thy choir, and make a moan

Upon the midnight hours !
Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet

From swinged censer teeming :
Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat

Of pale-mouth'd prophet dreaming.

Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane

In some untrodden region of my mind, Where branched thoughts, new-grown with pleasant

pain, Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind : Far, far around shall those dark-cluster'd trees

Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep; And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,

The moss-lain Dryads shall be luild to sleep;
And in the midst of this wide quietness
A rosy sanctuary will I dress
With the wreathed trellis of a working brain,

With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,

With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign,

Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same : And there shall be for thee all soft delight

That shadowy thought can win,
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,

To let the warm Love in !

FANCY.

E

VER let the Fancy roam,

Pleasure never is at home :

At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind's cage-door,
She'll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy! let her loose ;
Summer's joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming :
Autumn's red-lipp'l fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting : What do then ?
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear fagot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter's night;
When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the caked snow is shuffled
From the ploughboy's heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark conspiracy
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad,
With a mind self-overawed,
Fancy, high-commission'd : --- send her!

« ZurückWeiter »